Need proof that Amazon founder Jeff Bezos has a bewilderingly large fortune? Just ask Rotterdam. Rijnmond and The Washington Post We hear that the Dutch city has agreed to temporarily dismantle part of the historic Koningshaven Bridge (often called De Hef) to let its next superyacht, Y721, pass through this summer. City spokeswoman Frances van Heijst did not yet have a cost estimate, but stressed that shipbuilder Oceanco would cover the costs rather than the city.
As you can imagine, the Y721’s design is… excessive. With a length of 417 feet, three masts and multiple decks, The ship is about to be the biggest sailing yacht in the world. It is currently under construction in Alblasserdam and is believed to cost around US$500 million. If Rotterdam had not granted permission to dismantle part of the bridge, Oceanco would likely have needed to navigate the partially built yacht under the bridge and finish construction at another dock.
The city is also receiving some criticism over the decision. Koningshaven, built in 1927, was declared a national monument after it was dismantled in 1994 due to its importance as the first in Western Europe with a central section that rises to allow for taller ships underneath. The city completed a three-year restoration of the bridge in 2017 and vowed never to dismantle the bridge again – the Bezos deal spectacularly breaks that promise.
Not that Bezos is necessarily intimidated. Forbes estimates Bezos’ net worth was $166.6 billion at the time of writing. He could pay for Holland’s last defense expenditure ($14.3 billion) ten times over and still pay for the yacht. For him, dismantling the bridge is effectively a minor inconvenience, where it is a major problem for virtually everyone else.
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