Taipei, Jan. 5 (CNA) By all standards, the 18-meter-tall Rubber Duck inflatable sculpture had its best two days in Keelung harbor this weekend since its debut in the port city two weeks ago. The weather was dry, and the giant inflatable was free from the problems it has experienced so far -- a grimy look and an involuntary absence after it burst on New Year's Eve, apparently because it was over-inflated. As of 5 p.m., a total of 200,000 people had seen Dutch artist Florentijn Hofman's art work on Sunday, the most in a single day since the Rubber Duck was put on display in Keelung harbor on Dec. 21. The influx of visitors meant gridlock not just on the waterfront but also on main traffic routes into the port city and around parking lots. It also meant brisk business for shops and vendors who had waited for much of the past two weeks to cash in on duck-crazed crowds. "We're doing 50 percent better than before," said a woman busy serving soft ice cream from a machine. The Rubber Duck returned Friday after a massive split down its right side was successfully repaired. The Rubber Duck is scheduled to remain in Keelung through Feb. 28. Similar versions of the floating inflatable artwork have appeared in Kaohsiung
and Taoyuan County, driving a duck craze around Taiwan.
(By Wang Chao-yu and Jay Chen)