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Giant rubber duck deflated in Hong Kong’s harbor amid fierce heat

<i>Dale de la Rey/AFP/Getty Images</i><br/>People visit the installation
Dale de la Rey/AFP/Getty Images
People visit the installation "Double Ducks" by Dutch artist Florentijn Hofman after one of the ducks was deflated at Victoria Harbour in Hong Kong on June 10.

By Sophie Tanno, CNN

(CNN) — One of two giant rubber ducks on display in Hong Kong’s Victoria Harbor was deflated on Saturday to protect it from sweltering temperatures.

Organizers said they made the decision to deflate the duck just one day after the pair arrived in the harbor, after an inspection found that its surface had stretched in the hot weather.

The deflated duck will be sent for repairs, while its friend will remain in the harbor as part of a pop-art installation dubbed “Double Duck.”

Locals and tourists had gathered at the waterfront in the scorching sun to catch a glimpse of the artwork – with some left disheartened at only seeing one duck.

One Hong Kong resident, 35, explained that she had brought her child out specially to see the oversized bath toys.

“Today, we originally planned to bring my child to see the yellow duck. We saw it 10 years ago as well. Back then, there was only one yellow duck, but today we came to see double ducks.

“However, unexpectedly, there is only one duck now. We don’t feel disappointed though. As long as the children are happy, that’s enough.”

A tourist from Thailand explained that her sister is a “big fan” of the giant ducks.

“So, she was super sad, because she can see just only one.”

Dutch artist Florentijn Hofman’s “Rubber Duck” initially appeared in Victoria Harbor a decade ago.

Conceived in 2001 before debuting in France six years later, the installation appeared in cities including Osaka, Sydney and Sao Paolo before arriving in the semi-autonomous Chinese territory in May 2013.

The artwork’s previous arrival in Victoria Harbour made a splash worldwide — in part because it mysteriously deflated overnight before being reinflated days later.

The pop art installation returned to the harbor on Friday, this time with not one, but two ducks. At 18 meters (59 feet) tall, they are slightly larger than the one that made global headlines 10 years ago.

“Double duck is double luck,” artist Hofman said in a statement. “The work emphasizes friendship and getting connected … ‘Double Ducks’ is not about looking into the past but enjoying the moment together!”

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CNN’s Oscar Holland contributed reporting. Additional reporting by Reuters.

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