Dutch artist Florentijn Hofman's giant rubber duck captivated Aussies during its tenure in Sydney Harbour earlier this year. Image by Eva Rinaldi, licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 generic license.

Giant yellow duck a collateral casualty of Taiwan quake

Dutch artist Florentijn Hofman's giant rubber duck captivated Aussies during its tenure in Sydney Harbour earlier this year. Image by Eva Rinaldi, licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 generic license.

Dutch artist Florentijn Hofman’s giant rubber duck captivated Aussies during its tenure in Sydney Harbour earlier this year. Image by Eva Rinaldi, licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 generic license.

TAIPEI (AFP) – A giant yellow duck on display in Taiwan became a high-profile victim of Thursday’s earthquake after it deflated before exploding during an attempt to reinflate it, officials said Friday.

The 18-meter-tall (59-feet) duck in northern Taoyuan county began to deflate when an air pump went off during a power outage triggered by the 6.3-magnitude quake on Thursday night.

The earthquake shook buildings in the capital Taipei and across much of Taiwan, sending panicked residents running for shelter, although only a few minor injuries and little damage were reported.

However, organizers were forced to suspend the exhibit of Dutch artist Florentijn Hofman’s giant bath-toy replica, after powerful winds caused the duck’s rear end to burst while it was being re-inflated on Friday morning, rendering it a flattened yellow disc floating on a pond.

Officials said the damage would be difficult to repair and they were planning to borrow another Hofman-designed duck commissioned by Kaohsiung city government, which attracted four million visitors during a one-month display in the southern port earlier this year.

The duck in Kaohsiung — a slightly larger version of the one that captivated Hong Kong recently — was temporarily deflated and lifted to land as a safety precaution when the powerful Typhoon Usagi pounded the island in September.

Since 2007 the original duck designed by Hofman — which is 16.5 meters tall — has travelled to 13 cities in nine countries, including Brazil and Australia, on its journey around the world.

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ADDITIONAL IMAGE OF NOTE


Dutch artist Florentijn Hofman's giant rubber duck captivated Aussies during its tenure in Sydney Harbour earlier this year. Image by Eva Rinaldi, licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 generic license.

Dutch artist Florentijn Hofman’s giant rubber duck captivated Aussies during its tenure in Sydney Harbour earlier this year. Image by Eva Rinaldi, licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 generic license.