A landmark bridge in the Netherlands will not be dismantled in order for Jeff Bezos’ $500 million superyacht to pass through.
There was outcry earlier this year after it emerged that there were plans to temporarily take apart a section of the Koningshavenbrug, a 140-year-old bridge known locally as De Hef, so that the Amazon founder’s 417-foot-long Y721 and its three large masts can pass its 130-foot clearance, the New York Post reported.
The proposal has since been shelved, according to Dutch news outlet Trouw, which filed a freedom of information request. The outlet, as quoted by Newsweek, reports that Oceanco, the Dutch firm tasked with building Bezos’ yacht, has “informed the municipality that it is canceling its current logistical plans.”
Trouw noted that “shipyard employees feel threatened and the company fears it will be vandalised,” according to DutchNews.nl.
“Jobs are important, but there are limits with what you can and should do with our industrial heritage,” Ton Wesselink from local history society Historisch Genootschap Roterodamum told Rijnmond earlier this year.
Wesselink’s anger was reflected online. One man circulated an invite on Facebook encouraging locals to pelt the yacht with rotten eggs as it makes its way through the waterway.
“Rotterdam was built from the rubble by Rotterdammers and we don’t just take it apart for the phallus symbol of a megalomaniac billionaire,” Pablo Strörmann wrote on Facebook, according to the Post. “Not without a fight.”
Newsweek noted that at least 4,000 people had planned to join the protest. A petition was also launched calling for the plans to dismantle the bridge to be halted. It noted that when De Hef was renovated in 2017, “the municipality of Rotterdam promised that the bridge would never be dismantled again” but that promise “seems bound to be broken,” according to Newsweek.
“Monuments can be modified and rules — that apply to everyone — lifted,” the petition stated, going on to contrast “the eagerness with which Bezos’ request is being indulged” to his “rigidness and refusal in providing basic human rights to his warehouse workers.”
It is unclear how Bezos or Oceanco will proceed with the delivery of the superyacht.
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