ART
Peter Grisby

Fake Giant Rubber Duck Pops up in Abu Dhabi for a Pirated Visit

by , 01/26/14
filed under: Art, gallery



fake rubber duck, giant rubber duck, pirated rubber duck, cheap duck from China, stolen art, Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week, ADNEC, Abu Dhabi, oversized art projects, Florentijn Hofman, Reed Exhibitions, GeoWash fake duck in Dubai, copyright infringement, stolen art

Last December a similar duck appeared on Dubai Creek. Turns out a company called GeoWash, which advertises a water-conserving mobile car wash device, installed the floating bird to generate awareness about water conservation. 7DAYS news reports that on November 27, 2013, GeoWash sent them an email which read, “On behalf of GeoWash, the UAE’s largest environment-friendly mobile car wash service, you are invited to a press briefing to announce the arrival in Dubai of the giant floating duck sculpture which has in the past toured Amsterdam, Lommel, Osaka, Sydney Harbour, Sao Paulo, Hong Kong and most recently, Pittsburgh, USA where over 1,000,000 people are reported to have visited the duck.

But it wasn’t Florentijn Hofman’s floating duck at all. Nor is the duck that briefly appeared outside of ADNEC, according to Kim Engbers from Hofman’s studio. “Please send us a picture, we are not aware of this and it’s not ours,” Engbers wrote in an email to Inhabitat. Hofman was not pleased to learn about the rubber duck that popped up in Dubai last year. “They used my project to benefit from the attention. They even referred to my duck on their facebook page and used my pictures,” he told 7DAYS last December. “The one in Dubai is a pirate version. My duck is in Taiwan.”

We have been unable to determine where this particular duck was procured. Nobody at ADNEC seems to know, though the call center acknowledges that the duck was on display during ADSW and the various eco summits that took place throughout the week, the Abu Dhabi municipality doesn’t know, and we are waiting for a response from REED Exhibitions, the event organizers. Stay tuned for updates. In the meantime, check out stories about Hofman’s real rubber duck, which has traveled from as far afield as France and Australia and suffered several setbacks along the way. Hopefully this latest will create no long term damage.

+ Florentijn Hofman

Images © Inhabitat

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1 Comment

  1. jp slimon January 26, 2014 at 11:03 pm

    I’m sorry, I don’t really understand why Inhabitat is in love with the gargantuan rubber duck that’s touring the world. Because of its innovative design? Because of its promotion of eco-friendliness? No really, I’m trying to figure it out.

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