Despite an online petition with more than 4,636 signatures (as of this story being published), the Rubber Duck Project will leave Pittsburgh on Sunday night.
“From the beginning we always said October 20th is its date,” said Paul Organisak, vice president for programming at the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust. “The work of art has always been, was meant to be, a temporary installation. The power of it is the concentrated period of time to bring people together knowing that they must get down to see it.”
The duck will stay at Point State Park until 11pm Sunday, after that it will be moved, cleaned and stored by the Cultural Trust.
During the duck’s three-week residency in Pittsburgh it has drawn large crowds and as artist Florentijn Hoffman predicted, it did “change Pittsburgh for a bit.”
“It’s been remarkable to come down here day in and day out with hundreds and thousands of people,” said Organisak, “I’m thrilled to announce that given early calculation, we far exceeded one million visitors to the rubber duck.”
Those visitors have come from within the region, but many have also come from out of town, out of state, and even out of the country and officials with Pittsburgh’s visitors bureau, there was a definite economic impact.
“It’s pretty tough to determine the exact amount,” said Visit Pittsburgh CEO Craig Davis, “but doing some simple math on a million people it would be in the tens of millions. Tens of millions of dollars were left in the economy, but going beyond that it would be hard to determine the exact amount.”
The Rubber Duck project launched The Pittsburgh International Festival of Firsts, which will go on for another week. As for the duck, contractually the duck cannot be in any other city until January 2014.