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"The Rubber Duck" Makes U.S. Debut in Pittsburgh

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Move over penguins, there’s a new bird in Steel Town.

Currently floating down the Allegheny River is a 40-foot-tall (and 30-foot-wide) inflatable yellow duck. An art installation that simply goes by “The Rubber Duck,” created by Dutch artist, Florentijn Hofman.

Since its launch in 2007, the giant duck has swum the shores of Amsterdam, Belgium, Osaka, Sydney, São Paulo and most recently, Hong Kong.

The international sensation has debuted stateside as part of the Pittsburgh International Festival of Firsts. The festival is a four-week long series of dance, music, theater, performance and visual arts, presented by international artists making their U.S. debuts.

The duck was inflated with cold air from a fan and a generator. It will be moored on the Allegheny by Point State Park, through October 20. The International Festival of Firsts will run through October 26.

Hofman says public art joins people together, much like the hundreds of bridges connecting the city of Pittsburgh.

“We are living on one planet,” he told WESA Pittsburgh, “and all the waters in the world become our global bathtub, so we are one family where we have to take care of each other in this bathtub of the rubber duck.”

Pearly Huang is a research assistant at Travel + Leisure.

Photo credit: Michael Henninger/ZUMA Press/Corbis

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