Culture

Giant Rubber Duck Meets Violent, Untimely End

So dawn goes down to day. Nothing gold can stay.

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Remember the giant rubber duck? That 16.5-metre-high installation created by internationally acclaimed artist Florentijn Hofman in 2007, which had travelled the high seas through France and Belgium and Japan and New Zealand, before landing in Australia for Sydney Festival in January?

This cheerful fellow, with his adorable backside and his happy little beak?

duck

Well in tragic news, the duck, who had plans to stay a short while amidst the Hong Kong Harbour, has just met its untimely end, after some of its parts — and some of our hearts — became broken.

It all started off well enough. Duck was buoyant and cheerful, seeing the sites…

HK2

Photo credit: florentijnhofman.nl

…taking part in the culture…

zeroduck

…and making friends with the locals.

Photo credit: florentijnhofman.nl

Photo credit: florentijnhofman.nl

But something happened under the cover of night.

oneduck

Tyrone Siu/Reuters

Then, no doubt exacerbated by the giant poking arm of a machine that as documented below seems intent on tormenting him, it happened more:

twoduck

Until finally, this.

threeduck

Nature’s first green is gold
Her hardest hue to hold.
Her early leaf’s a flower;
But only so an hour.
Then leaf subsides to leaf.
So Eden sank to grief,
So dawn goes down to day.
Nothing gold can stay.

– Robert Frost, ‘Nothing Gold Can Stay’

[UPDATE: Sydney Festival have informed us that, while almost exactly identical, Hong Kong duck is but a close relative of Sydney duck. “We are all super sad, and we’ve sent a get well card,” said a representative from the festival. “But this one is the cousin of the SydFest duck. Ours is happy and healthy and in hibernation.”]