Ailan Evans on February 3, 2022
Amazon founder and former CEO Jeff Bezos will foot the bill to temporarily tear down a historic bridge in the Dutch city of Rotterdam to make way for his enormous yacht.
The middle section of the city’s Koningshaven Bridge, which was built in 1878 and partially rebuilt after being destroyed during World War II, will be temporarily removed so Bezos’ $485 million yacht can pass through, AFP reported. The shipyard constructing the yacht, located in the city of Alblasserdam, reportedly asked the Rotterdam council to remove the section.
“It’s the only route to the sea,” a spokesman for the mayor of Rotterdam told AFP.
Rotterdam is likely to grant the request, the AFP reported, with officials and business leaders viewing the project as a jobs opportunity.
“From an economic perspective and maintaining employment, the municipality considers this a very important project,” municipal project leader Marcel Walravens said, according to the NL Times. “In addition, Rotterdam has also been declared the maritime capital of Europe. Shipbuilding and activity within that sector are therefore an important pillar of the municipality.”
However, the decision is drawing the ire of local preservation officials and historians, who argue dismantling the bridge is insulting to their heritage.
“Employment is important, but there are limits to what you can and may do to our heritage,” Ton Wesselink of the Rotterdam Historical Society said, according to the NL Times.
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