Minister of Transportation and Communications Yeh Kuang-shih (葉匡時) said he is opposed to the idea of displaying a local version of Dutch artist Florentijn Hofman’s Rubber Duck, as it would damage Taiwan’s international image.
“The ministry does not see that as appropriate,” Yeh said on Friday in response to a Taiwanese company’s plan to make and display an 18m tall “Dream Duck” near the Port of Keelung, where Hofman’s Rubber Duck is currently on view.
Yeh said he would instruct the port’s operator, Taiwan International Ports Corp, a corporation under the ministry’s supervision, to persuade the company — Yu Sheng Co — to abandon its plans.
Although the “Dream Duck” would be legal under domestic law, it would harm Taiwan’s international image, Yeh said.
He added that he did not think the duck would draw crowds or create commercial opportunities, as Yu Sheng believes.
Yu Sheng bid NT$16 million (US$532,000) to win a contract from the port to manage areas set aside for the sale of merchandise and food during the Rubber Duck’s appearance in Keelung between Dec. 21 and Feb. 8.
Because the Rubber Duck’s final position in the harbor has left it far from the concession stands, facing the opposite direction, visitor numbers to the area managed by Yu Sheng have fallen far short of its expectations.
Yu Sheng said the Dream Duck, which it plans to display on the wharf at the same venue, would draw more crowds to its concession stands and create a better atmosphere.
In a letter to the company, however, the Port of Keelung expressed its opposition to the plan, which it argued would trigger a controversy over whether it violated Hofman’s copyright.