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Monday, 7 January 2013

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Giant rubber duck brings Sydney to life

AUSTRALIA: A gigantic, bright yellow rubber duck floated into Sydney’s Darling Harbour on Saturday as part of the Australian city’s annual arts festival, a celebration where high-art meets popular entertainment.

Each January hundreds of thousands of people attend theatre, music, dance, film, talks and other events for three weeks, often braving sweltering summer temperatures and thunderstorms for their dose of culture.

The 2013 festival, which will present 92 events from some 750 artists from 17 countries, kicked off Saturday under bright sunshine, with thousands lining Darling Harbour for the entry of artist Florentijn Hofman’s inflatable duck.

“What makes Sydney Festival unique I think is this amazing blend of serious art and quirky and playful entertainment,” festival director Lieven Bertels told AFP. “And what better to celebrate that than with a really, lovely public art work such as the rubber duck.” Bertels said the duck -- a 15-metre high creation by Dutchman Hofman, models of which have appeared in other cities -- appealed to the young and old, bringing back childhood memories for some. “This is the Sydney duck and for him (Hofman) what’s important about it is that it is not just a playful thing but also one that connects,” Bertels explained.

AFP

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