The historic bridge that will be dismantled in the Netherlands for Jeff Bezos' superyacht to pass
The Dutch city of Rotterdam will dismantle a historic bridge to allow the passage of a superyacht built for Amazon founder Jeff Bezos.
This luxurious ship is being designed by the Dutch firm Oceanco. The boat is about 127 meters long and is too high to pass through the Koningshaven Bridge, one of the city's symbols. A spokesman for the city council confirmed the dismantling, and Bezos will foot the bill for the operation.
Why is it controversial?
On Tuesday, media in the Netherlands reported that the middle section of the bridge, known locally as De Hef, will be temporarily removed to allow the 40-meter-high yacht to sail.
This move has generated controversy because this steel bridge has a long history and is a national monument. It fell into disuse between 2014 and 2017 due to a significant renovation. City officials said then that it would not be dismantled again. This move was criticized by local politician Stephan Lewis, who said on Twitter that "tearing down our beautiful national monument is going too far."
According to the AFP news agency, the city council declared that the jobs created in the construction of the boat boosted the plan and promised that the bridge would be rebuilt in its current form.
"It is the only route to the sea," the city council spokesman said.
The project leader of the Rotterdam local authority, Marcel Walravens, countered this position and stated that it would not be practical to finish the construction of the yacht elsewhere. Speaking to the Rijnmond news site, Walravens insisted that this project is "significant" from an economic point of view, citing Rotterdam's reputation as "the maritime capital of Europe." The port of Rotterdam is the largest in Europe and one of the largest in the world. "Shipbuilding and activity within that sector is an important pillar of the municipality," added Walravens. The project leader told a local newspaper that it would probably take summer. Officials hope the section can be removed and replaced within a couple of weeks.
What is Bezos' superyacht looks like?
Details of this luxury yacht being designed by Oceanco were first revealed last year.
This firm maintains some secrecy about its clients, but a Bloomberg biography on Jeff Bezos in 2021 seemed to confirm the rumors that the creator of Amazon would be the owner of the ship.
Known as Y721, the vessel will be the largest of its kind in the world, according to Boat International. Rumor has it that she boasts many luxury features with an accompanying "support yacht" with a landing pad for helicopters.
Forbes estimates that the Amazon founder is worth more than $175 billion and currently ranks him among the top three most affluent men globally. In addition to being a giant in the e-commerce industry, Bezos also owns The Washington Post newspaper and the space company Blue Origin.