Thousands Welcome Giant Rubber Duck to Taiwan

(AP) Thousands welcome giant rubber duck to Taiwan
TAIPEI, Taiwan
Thousands of people crowded the harbor of a Taiwanese city on Thursday to welcome a giant floating yellow rubber duck.

The 18-meter (59-foot) duck is a huge version of the bathtub toys loved by children. It was created by Dutch artist Florentijn Hofman, who has taken various versions around the world to spread a message of happiness.

The sun was shining in Kaohsiung city to the delight of fans who had feared that the duck's arrival might be delayed by an approaching typhoon. News reports said city officials hope their iconic guest will attract about 3 million visitors and generate tens of millions of dollars in revenue.

It is to remain in the city until Oct. 20, when it will begin visiting other locations in Taiwan.

"It keeps on smiling to you, you know. It says, `don't you worry, laugh, be happy!'" Hofman said Thursday. "This big rubber duck in your harbor, in Kaohsiung in this case, changes Kaohsiung. And it changes also your fantasy and your brain. And it's a piece of art."

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