Duck Looms Over Tel Aviv

Dudu Geva may have left us, but his duck spirit quacks on. The late artist was tired of failed urban architecture in Tel Aviv — the so-called “White City,” which is actually more crumbling yellowish than white. The artist proposed a “duck-ization” of Israel’s cultural metropolis.

Image: Wikipedia

Image: Olympia Food Co-Op

Image: Polyphony Foundation

Image: Getty Images

Image: Getty Images

Cincinnati Bound: A late 19th Century brass menorah, probably made somewhere in the Austro-Hungarian empire, is part of the Klutznik Museum collection.

Image: Courtesy of B'Nai Brith International

Cincinnati Bound: A late 19th Century brass menorah, probably made somewhere in the Austro-Hungarian empire, is part of the Klutznik Museum collection.

Museum Artifact: A deerskin Torah from India, from roughly the late 19th century

Image: Courtesy of B'Nai Brith International

Museum Artifact: A deerskin Torah from India, from roughly the late 19th century

Image: Flickr/Davee

Image: Facebook

Image: Lior Zaltzman

Image: Robert Levy

The headquarters of the Royal Tokaji wine company was once the home of the Zimmerman family until they were mostly wiped out in the Holocaust.

The headquarters of the Royal Tokaji wine company was once the home of the Zimmerman family until they were mostly wiped out in the Holocaust.

Image: Getty Images

** From right, Manny Waks stands with his parents, Chaya and Zephaniah, in their former home in Melbourne.

Image: Courtesy of Mint Pictures/Identity Films

** From right, Manny Waks stands with his parents, Chaya and Zephaniah, in their former home in Melbourne.

Shunned: Zephaniah (left) and Manny Waks outside the Yeshivah Centre in Melbourne.

Image: Courtesy of Mint Pictures/Identity Films

Shunned: Zephaniah (left) and Manny Waks outside the Yeshivah Centre in Melbourne.

Convicted: David Cyprys was sentenced to prison for raping one boy and sexually assaulting eight others.

Image: Fairfax Photos

Convicted: David Cyprys was sentenced to prison for raping one boy and sexually assaulting eight others.

Childhood: Manny Waks at age 11 or 12.

Image: Courtesy of Manny Waks

Childhood: Manny Waks at age 11 or 12.

Cinema Verité: A camera man films Manny Waks as he shouts through a window into the home of a man he accuses of sexually assaulting him more than 25 years ago.

Image: Courtesy of Mint Pictures/Identity Films

Cinema Verité: A camera man films Manny Waks as he shouts through a window into the home of a man he accuses of sexually assaulting him more than 25 years ago.

Image: Anya Ulinich

Wrong Analysis: Has Obama learned the wrong lessons from the Iraq quagmire?

Image: Getty Images

Wrong Analysis: Has Obama learned the wrong lessons from the Iraq quagmire?

Image: Thinkstock

Image: thinkstock

Holy Game: FIFA chief Sepp Blatter visits Israel after meeting with Palestinian officials. He vowed to push for more freedom of motion for Palestinian soccer players from Gaza and the West Bank.

Image: getty images

Holy Game: FIFA chief Sepp Blatter visits Israel after meeting with Palestinian officials. He vowed to push for more freedom of motion for Palestinian soccer players from Gaza and the West Bank.

Shul Fight: The proposed sale of this 18th century pair of silver Torah finials, or decorative bells, has sparked an ugly feud between two of America?s oldest Jewish congregations.

Image: david bazarsky

Shul Fight: The proposed sale of this 18th century pair of silver Torah finials, or decorative bells, has sparked an ugly feud between two of America?s oldest Jewish congregations.

“My initiative stems from the fact that the city is lost,” Geva wrote in 2003 in the Tel Aviv newspaper Ha’Ir. “Tel Aviv is so ugly that you need to erase entire streets and start from scratch. At least let us decorate and celebrate in the streets. The city hall is a lost building. If a giant duck were placed on its roof, everything would change.”

The cartoon duck was a trademark of the artist, who died unexpectedly in 2005. During Geva’s career, which spanned more than three decades, his cartoons, drawings and illustrations appeared in many leading Israeli newspapers. Along with artist Yuval Caspi, Geva’s two children took it upon themselves to realize their father’s dream.

In a festive ceremony, the duck was placed on the rooftop of the city hall building at Rabin Square this spring. A huge air pump breathed life and soul into the bird’s rubber body, which is about 32 feet tall. Caspi recalled the “historic moment” when “the duck stretched its legs, raised its head and beak and, finally, stretched its chest and let its yellow legs dangle off the edge of the gray building.”

The public seems to share Caspi’s enthusiasm. Originally, the duck was to remain on the building for one month, but when it was time for it to deflate, protests broke out and the will of the people was heard: Geva’s bird has been granted a prolonged tenure. In a recent meeting, the municipality elected it as the city’s centennial mascot. So, duck lovers can rest assured that their beloved bird will continue to nod to the sweating crowds below in 2009.

Recommend this article

Duck Looms Over Tel Aviv

Thank you!

This article has been sent!

Close