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Jeff Bezos’ $500m superyacht is stuck after the Dutch firm building it decided against dismantling a historic Rotterdam bridge following a public backlash and threats of an egg-throwing protest, says a report.
The billionaire Amazon founder had offered to pay for the middle section of the decommissioned Koningshavenbrug to be removed so that his monster 412ft sailing yacht, which is named Y721, could reach the ocean from its shipyard.
The yacht, currently the second-largest in the world, cannot get under the “De Hef” bridge without the modification taking place. But the plan has now been cancelled by manufacturer Oceanco after the criticism it faced, according to Dutch news outlet Trouw.
Back in February, it was announced that Oceanco had asked the city to temporarily remove the bridge, which dates from 1878 and was last renovated in 2017.
Marcel Walravens who managed the renovation project, told RTV that it was “not practical” to partially finish the vessel and complete construction elsewhere.
“If you carry out a big job somewhere, you want all your tools in that place. Otherwise, you have to go back and forth constantly. In addition, this is such a large project that there are hardly any locations where this work is finished.”
And he added: “From an economic perspective and maintaining employment, the municipality considers this a very important project. Rotterdam has also been declared the maritime capital of Europe.”
History groups in Rotterdam opposed the works, with thousands of Facebook users signing a petition promising to egg the yacht as it travelled through the city towards the open ocean.
“Calling all Rotterdammers take a box of rotten eggs with you, and let’s throw them en masse at Jeff’s superyacht when it sails through the Hef in Rotterdam,” wrote event organiser Pablo Strörmann on the social media platform.
Now, the NL Times reports, Oceanco has “informed the municipality that it is cancelling its current logistical plans.”
Employees at the company “feel threatened and the company fears it will be vandalised”, according to DutchNews.nl
It is unclear how the yacht will now be moved from the construction site to the open water.
The Independent has reached out to Mr Bezos and Oceanco for comment.