Proof is required. How much money does Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos have? Think about Rotterdam. We’ve learnt that the Koningshaven Bridge (commonly referred to as “De Hef”) will be temporarily dismantled this summer so that the superyacht, Y721, can sail through this summer. Oceanco, not the city, will bear the expenditures, according to Frances van Heijst, the city’s spokeswoman. She did not have a cost estimate, though.
To put it mildly, the design of the Y721 is… exaggerated. Three masts and multiple decks make this vessel the largest sailing yacht ever built at 417 feet. In the works in Alblasserdam, it is estimated to cost $500 million. Oceanco would have had to sail the partially completed boat under the bridge and finish building at another pier if Rotterdam hadn’t received permission to demolish part of the bridge.
Despite the criticism, the city is also taking fire for its choice. Following the decommissioning of Koningshaven in 1994, it was designated as a national monument because it was the first Western European port with a central portion that rises to allow taller ships to pass below. It was in 2017 that the city ended its three-year rehabilitation of the bridge and swore never to demolish it again, but the Bezos agreement reneges on that vow spectacularly.
It’s not like Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos will be concerned. Bezos’s net worth is now estimated by Forbes to be $166.6 billion. He could pay for the yacht 10 times over with the money he would have spent on the Netherlands’ most recent defence budget ($14.3 billion). He considers the bridge removal a mere nuisance, although it is a major undertaking for the majority of people.