Rubber Duck bounces back in Taiwan after exploding on New Year’s Eve
Agence France-Presse in Taipei
A giant yellow inflatable duck which exploded on New Year’s Eve returned to a Taiwan port on Friday after it was repaired and cleaned, organisers said.
Hundreds turned out in Keelung on the north of the island to welcome back the 18-metre-tall duck following two days of maintenance after it burst and deflated into a floating yellow disc on Tuesday.
It was the second time that a replica of the bath toy had burst while on show in Taiwan. The duck exploded just hours before crowds gathered to count down the New Year.
“The warmest welcome for the little yellow duck to come back to Keelung port. I am very excited and happy all over again,” fan Mandy Liu wrote on a Facebook page created for the Keelung exhibition.
Another fan, Wu Hsien-che, wrote: “We should pray to the gods and ghosts to ensure the exhibition can go on smoothly.”
The duck burst because of rising pressure caused by rapid temperature changes. Organisers had planned to stay open past midnight in anticipation of a large New Year’s crowd.
The Central News Agency cited an eyewitness as saying the rubber bird might have fallen victim to eagles which scratched it with their claws.
Devices have since been put inside the duck for 24-hour monitoring of temperature and pressure, organiser Huang Jing-tai told reporters.
Since 2007 the duck designed by Dutch artist Florentijn Hofman – which is 16.5 metres tall – has travelled to 13 cities in nine countries, including Brazil, Australia and Hong Kong, on its journey around the world.
Watch: When Rubber Duck visited Hong Kong
Three Taiwanese cities exhibited their versions of the yellow duck last year. But all were forced to temporarily suspend the exhibit due to bad weather or damage.
In November, the duck on display in the northern county of Taoyuan became a high-profile victim of a 6.3-magnitude earthquake, which triggered a power outage that caused it to deflate when an air pump stopped working.
Powerful winds caused the duck’s rear end to burst while it was being re-inflated. Organisers in Taoyuan had to borrow another duck commissioned by the Kaohsiung city government to continue the show.