Rotterdam mayor refuses to confirm whether Dutch bridge will be dismantled for yacht Jeff Bezos
The mayor of Rotterdam has refused to confirm whether he will dismantle a historic Dutch bridge so that Jeff Bezos’ £400million superyacht can pass.
Reports this week that the Dutch city had already agreed to dismantle the newly refurbished Koningshaven bridge, known locally as De Hef, sparked anger.
On Facebook, residents offer to shell the yacht of rotten eggs as it passes over the bridge – built in 1927 – which blocks its passage to the sea.
However, a spokeswoman for Mayor Ahmed Aboutaleb said Friday that while a shipbuilder has requested the temporary dismantling of the bridge this summer, no permit has yet been requested or granted.
A Rotterdam spokesperson told CBS MoneyWatch that Dutch news reports indicating the city would take down the bridge to make room for the Amazon founder’s boat were false.
They added that if Bezos requested housing, the city would consider it.
Rotterdam’s iconic Koningshavenbrug bridge, known to locals as De Hef, could be dismantled to allow the passage of Jeff Bezos’ newly built superyacht, with the bill being footed by the Amazon billionaire.
The £400million, 417ft Y721 will be the world’s largest sailing ship when completed this year in the Netherlands, surpassing the current largest ocean-going passenger vessel.
Amazon founder reportedly previously struck a deal with Rotterdam to dismantle the bridge
Rotterdam Mayor Ahmed Aboutaleb (above) told Dutch newspaper Algemeen Dagblad that ‘no decision has yet been made’ on dismantling
The spokesperson said: “The company that built the vessel has not yet applied for a permit, so there is no problem at this time.”
“When they ask for the permit, we have to decide whether or not we allow it, and how, and things like that.”
Mr Aboutaleb told Dutch newspaper Algemeen Dagblad that “no decision has yet been made” on the dismantling.
Earlier reports had said the shipyard building the Amazon billionaire’s £400m, 17ft Y721 yacht had asked for a historic bridge to be temporarily dismantled to put the boat out to sea, with Bezos footing the bill.
She is currently under construction at the Oceano shipyard in Alblasserdam in the west of the Netherlands.
More than 3,900 people showed interest in a Facebook event calling on Rotterdam residents to throw rotten eggs at the Amazon founder’s mega-boat.
The Amazon founder’s secret yacht – previewed in October – will feature three huge masts and three decks, and it won’t be able to fit under deck even with its 130ft (40m) full clearance.
The Amazon founder’s secret yacht will feature three “huge” masts and multiple decks. She is being built by bespoke yacht builder Oceanco and is believed to be based on the company’s Black Pearl vessel.
When the bridge was refurbished in 2017, the local council pledged that it would never be dismantled again.
In 1933, a Dutchman named Lou Vlasblom made a then-record dive from the top of the bridge. Two weeks later, Jan Tabbernee died trying to match the stunt.
The bridge, characterized by its two towers and the green tint of its steel, was badly damaged in 1940 during the bombardment of Rotterdam, and is now officially protected as a landmark.
Previous attempts to permanently demolish the bridge, such as the one in 1993, were met with fierce resistance from locals, who successfully blocked the plan.
A Facebook event that more than 900 people clicked ‘go’ to called on ‘everyone in Rotterdam’ to throw eggs at the yacht ‘en masse’ as it passes through De Hef in the summer
The 417ft Y721 will be the largest sailing ship in the world when completed this year in the Netherlands, surpassing the current largest ocean-going passenger vessel.
The Black Pearl, on which the Y721 is based, is the largest DynaRig sailboat in the world, with three 230-foot-tall (70-meter) carbon masts, and was built in 2018.
Bezos’ ownership was confirmed in the Amazon Unbound book, which describes the boat as “one of the most beautiful sailing yachts in existence.”
Bezos lost his spot as the world’s richest man last year to space tech rival Elon Musk. He currently has a net worth of $175bn (£130bn).