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October 11, 2014

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Public spitting feathers over park’s fee for Rubber Duck

CENTURY Park has been accused of cashing in on the arrival of the famous Rubber Duck artwork this month with a four times increase in its admission fee.

Instead of the usual 10 yuan (US$1.6), the public must pay 40 yuan to get into the Pudong New Area park and see Dutch artist Florentijn Hofman’s giant yellow rubber duck.

The hike will be in place during the duck’s residency in the park’s Jingtian Lake from October 23 until November 23.

Members of the public complained that this is unfair.

Some pointed out online that last year it was free to see the duck in Hong Kong, and when it was on display at the Summer Palace in Beijing the admission fee remained unchanged.

One web user said that as a family of three will have to pay 120 yuan to see the duck and that he would rather spend the cash buying a roast duck.

But park officials say the price increase is justified as they are holding a month-long cultural program featuring another 14 exhibitions, including a horse sculpture show.

They had considered holding the exhibitions in an enclosed area and charging fees separately from the park ticket, said Chen Jie, from the park’s marketing department.

“But people would complain if their enjoyment of the park’s environment and facilities was reduced,” said Chen.

“Therefore, we decided to increase the park entry price and allow all visitors to see all the exhibitions, cover our costs and make it fair,” he said.

Chen said holders of prepaid yearly cards will not pay extra, while children under 1.3 meters tall, over-70s, disabled people, retired veterans and armed forces personnel will enter for free as usual.

And students get a 50 percent discount, added Chen.

Hofman’s giant yellow ducks have be exhibited in 19 cities in 11 countries and areas since 2007, attracting fans around the world. The largest is 26 x 20 x 32 meters.

One is now coming to Shanghai after a local autistic boy known as Yanyan wrote to Hofman asking him to bring his creation to the city, said Chen.

Hofman visited Yanyan and was inspired to make his dream come true. Yanyan will raise the curtain of the giant yellow duck show on October 23 with Hofman, Chen said.

Other activities on the program are intended to raise public awareness of autism.


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