Rubber Duck
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A deflated Rubber Duck by Dutch conceptual artist Florentijn Hofman floats on Hong Kong's Victoria Harbour. Photo: Reuters

Deflated Rubber Duck's not in the soup - it needs to freshen up, say organisers

Deflated 16.5-metre-high inflatable sculpture prompts internet rumours

Rubber Duck

Is it all over for the giant inflatable Rubber Duck that has attracted thousands of admirers to Hong Kong's Victoria Harbour?

Conceptual artist Florentijn Hofman's creation, which made its debut in the harbour the week before last, lies deflated in the water.

The 16.5-metre-high inflatable sculpture was due to remain at the Ocean Terminal for a month but was last night pictured lying on its side.

The news got web users in a flutter, with Hong Kong Wrong blog joking that the bird had succumbed to lung cancer from pollution.

But those lamenting the bird's demise were reassured by Harbour City, which organised the exhibition, that the Rubber Duck was merely having a nap.

Alongside a cartoon carrying the words "Sleepy Time", it tweeted: "The Rubber Duck needs to freshen up. Stay tuned for its return."

Two police marine vessels acted as guardian for the giant yellow toy as it made its way into the harbour on May 2. As the duck emerged from behind a cruise ship docking at Ocean Terminal, an excited crowd roared: "It's here!"

It first appeared in France in 2007 and has since travelled to arts festivals around the world, including making an appearance at the opening of the Sydney Festival at beginning of this year.