On Wednesday, the Dutch port city of Rotterdam revealed that they would ‘temporarily dismantle’ the beautiful and iconic Koningshaven Bridge – which dates back to 1878, and was rebuilt after being bombed by the Nazis in 1940 during World War II – to allow Bezos’s megayacht, worth 430 million euros, to pass.
European media reports claim that the shipyard building the three-masted megayacht in Alblasserdam, near Rotterdam, had asked the local council to remove the bridge’s central section so it can pass through.
A spokesperson of the mayor of Rotterdam said that the bill for dismantling the bridge was being paid by Bezos, and the decision to make temporary changes to the historic bridge was made because it is the only way to get his superyacht to the sea. Dutch media also reported that the middle portion of the huge steel-girder bridge will be removed to give enough space for the 40-metre (130-foot) high boat to pass through. The process will begin in summer, and is expected to take a few weeks.
The decision to affect a historical structure has not gone down well with some in the Netherlands as the local council had previously promised that after major renovation in 2017, it would never again dismantle the bridge, known to Rotterdammers as De Hef.
The mayor’s office has tried to deflect the heat it has been facing by diverting attention to the jobs that had been created because the ship was constructed in the Netherlands, and reinforced the economic benefits that Bezos has offered. They have also promised the citizens to rebuild the bridge after Bezos’s ship leaves.
Bezos, 57, is one of the world’s richest men in the world and when he is not travelling by sea on superyachts, he can be found blasting into space on his Blue Origin capsule.