If you were hoping Florentijn Hofman‘s wildly popular Moon Rabbit would embark on a Rubber Duck-style world tour (see “Giant Rubber Duck Lands at Virginia’s Chrysler Museum“), you’re in for an unhappy surprise, as the New York Times is reporting that the 82-foot-tall sculpture caught fire and was largely destroyed as workers attempted to disassemble it earlier today, September 15.
The oversize rabbit was part of the Taoyuan Land Art Festival in northern Taiwan, and had drawn hundreds of thousands of visitors on a daily basis during the 11 day event, with nearly 2.5 million visitors in total for the festival as a whole (see “Florentijn Hofman Unleashes Moon Rabbit Sculpture“). The sculpture is inspired by a Chinese folk tale about a rabbit who serves Chang’e, a goddess who lives on the moon.
Unfortunately, the rabbit’s fiery end was no intentional, Burning Man-style ritualized destruction (see “Tech Nerds and Flashy Art at Burning Man“). Authorities believe that a spark from a hoist or chainsaw ignited the conflagration, which destroyed most of the piece. The charred remains include one arm and ear, and the bunny’s torso. Luckily, no one was injured by the incident.
Earlier this year, one of Hofman’s Rubber Duck sculptures was washed away during a heavy storm (see “Giant Rubber Duck Vanishes in Chinese Flood“). In 2013, another iteration of the piece popped while being inflated in Taiwan.Follow artnet News on Facebook.