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Giant Rubber Duck In Hong Kong Harbour Is Deflated
May 15, 2013
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Well, when we first saw this today, it was as though the air went out of the room. That giant rubber duck we did a post about two weeks ago is now deflated.

The duck, created by Dutch artist Florentijn Hofman, has been floating in Hong Kong's Victoria harbour for the past two weeks and has attracted tens of thousands of visitors.

So, what happened? Who could have done this? Is there nothing sacred? Well, as it turns out, it was planned.

The Harbour City waterfront shopping mall, which organized the exhibit, announced on its Facebook page: "Special announcement: attention, duck fans! The rubber duck needs some rest, and to undergo a quick body check. The rubber duck will resume its 'duck' shape in no time."

It also sent out this tweet.

Phew... although it's still a bit sad to see the duck like this - just totally flat.

As one woman told the news agency AFP, "The sky looks like it is crying for me - I took time off from work just to see the duck, now it is just a blob."

Another man commented on Facebook "Kids were crying when they deflate the duck", while another man said "Please please inflate it back!!! I'm only in HK till this sun... I want to see the duck!"

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They're not alone in her disappointment. By this afternoon, 'Big yellow duck loses air and collapses' was the number one trending topic on Sina Weibo, China's version of Twitter.

Officials say the duck will be towed to a shipyard for a maintenance check-up.

"We scheduled a body check for these two days. If everything is fine we can inflate it as soon as possible and the public can appreciate it again," Andrew Yeung, a spokesperson for the shopping mall told AFP.

"I know people are disappointed but we need to check the overall condition. We don't want to upset everyone."

At 16.5 metres (52 feet) high, the duck has appeared in 13 cities around the world since 2007. It sailed into Hong Kong on May 2 and is scheduled to be on display there until June 9.

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Since it arrived TIME reports, "Chinese factories say sales of rubber ducks have soared, nearby hotels are advertising rooms that have great "duck views," and yellow cakes shaped like ducks have been selling like, well, hotcakes."

Although this deflating was planned, TIME points out that in 2009, when the duck was in Belgium, someone stabbed it 42 times.

The artist told CNN the vandalism "brought the people of that town together. The community had a stake out at night and protected it and even the police looked after it. It shows that this piece of art means a lot to people in the vicinity of this work."

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