A delegation of Greater Kaohsiung Government officials is to visit Hong Kong today to try to ensure that a giant yellow rubber duck stops in Kaohsiung Harbor on its first visit to the nation.
Dutch artist Florentijn Hofman made the large rubber duck in 2007 in an attempt to entertain the world with a tour named “Spreading joy around the world.”
The duck was to tour several major cities around the world before returning to the US to be put on exhibition.
Aside from Greater Kaohsiung, New Taipei City (新北市) and Keelung City are also vying to have the rubber duck visit them first.
The Kaohsiung City Government’s Information Bureau Director Lai Rui-lung (賴瑞隆) said he will meet with the artwork’s management team to persuade them to have the duck visit Greater Kahoisung, adding that if all goes well, Greater Kaohsiung residents would be able to see the duck in their home city.
If the duck were to come to Greater Kaohsiung, it would probably not be berthed on the city’s Love River (愛河) because the river is not deep enough, Lai said.
The city would instead place the duck on exhibition at the Love River Bay between Glory Dock (光榮碼頭) and True Love Pier (真愛碼頭), he added.
Hsu Chuan-sheng (許傳盛), director of the city government’s tourism bureau, said he would try to persuade the duck’s management team, adding that he was confident the passion of Greater Kaohsiung residents as well as the fame of popular Taiwanese band Mayday (五月天) — whose concert series “No-W-here” in Greater Kaohsiung last year drew more than 100,000 people and NT$500 million (US$17 million) in extra tourism revenue — would work in Greater Kaohisung’s favor.
Meanwhile, netizens in Kaohsiung are trying to garner online support to draw the duck to their city by launching fan pages and discussions on popular social networking sites such as Facebook, the mobile01 forums and the Professional Technology Temple — the nation’s largest academic online bulletin board.
At press time, two Facebook fan pages had garnered nearly 80,000 “likes,” while other sites were also receiving many fervent responses.