Rotterdam Mayor agrees not to dismantle bridge for Jeff Bezos's yacht

Rotterdam Mayor refuses to confirm whether he’ll dismantle historic Dutch bridge so that Jeff Bezos’s £400m superyacht can pass through…and says if the Amazon billionaire asks for accommodation the city ‘will consider it’

  • Rotterdam has disputed claims that city agreed to take the bridge apart
  • The Amazon founder’s yacht is currently being built in a Dutch shipyard 
  • Reports had said that Rotterdam had agreed to take the bridge apart for Bezos
  • Furious locals pledged to pelt eggs at the yacht if the bridge built in 1927 was disassembled

A Dutch city has not agreed to disassemble an historic bridge to make room for Jeff Bezos’s mega-yacht. 

A spokesperson for the city of Rotterdam told CBS MoneyWatch on Friday that Dutch press reports that Rotterdam would disassemble the bridge built in 1927 to make room for Bezos’ boat were false, and that it has not received, or approved any such request.

They did however add that if Bezos asks for an accommodation, the city will consider it.

The iconic Koningshavenbrug bridge in Rotterdam, known to locals as De Hef may be dismantled to allow Jeff Bezos’s newly-built superyacht to pass through, with the bill being footed by the Amazon billionaire

The £400million, 417ft Y721 will be the biggest sailing yacht in the world when it is completed this year in the Netherlands, overtaking the current largest ocean-going passenger ship

The Amazon founder had earlier been reported to have struck a deal with Rotterdam to disassemble the bridge

The spokesperson said: ‘The company that built the ship didn’t yet ask for a permit so there is not an issue at this moment.

‘When they ask for the permit, then we have to make a decision if we allow it or not, and how, and things like that.’

Rotterdam Mayor Ahmed Aboutaleb also told Dutch newspaper Algemeen Dagblad that ‘no decision has been made yet’ on the disassembly. 

Earlier reports had said that the shipyard building the Amazon billionaire’s £400million, 17ft yacht Y721 had asked for a historic bridge to be temporarily dismantled to get the boat to sea, with Bezos footing the bill.

It is currently being built at the Oceano shipyard in Alblasserdam in the west of the Netherlands 

More than 3,900 people expressed interest in a Facebook event calling for Rotterdam residents to throw rotten eggs at the Amazon founder’s mega-boat. 

The Amazon founder’s secretive yacht – a glimpse of which was caught in October – will feature three enormous masts and three decks, and it will be unable to fit under the bridge, even with its full clearance of 130ft (40 metres).

When the bridge was renovated in 2017, the local council pledged that it would never be dismantled again.

In 1933, a Dutchman named Lou Vlasblom made a then-record breaking dive from the top of the bridge. Two weeks later, Jan Tabbernee died trying to match the stunt. 

The bridge, characterised by its two towers and the green tint to its steel, was heavily 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 one in 1993, were met with fierce resistance from locals, who succeeded in blocking the plan. 

The 417ft Y721 will be the biggest sailing yacht in the world when it is completed this year in the Netherlands, overtaking the current largest ocean-going passenger ship.

The Black Pearl, which Y721 is based on, is the largest DynaRig sailing yacht in the world, with three 230ft tall (70 metre) carbon masts, and was built in 2018.

Bezos’s ownership of it was confirmed in the book Amazon Unbound, which described the boat as ‘one of the finest sailing yachts in existence’. 

Bezos lost his place as the richest man in the world last year to space tech rival Elon Musk. He currently has a net worth of $175billion (£130billion).

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