Dutch media reported Wednesday that the local council had agreed to remove the central section of the Koningshaven Bridge so that the former Amazon CEO’s yacht, Y721, could depart from the Oceanco shipyard in nearby Alblasserdam.
But Mayor Ahmed Aboutaleb of Rotterdam said Thursday that the council had not reached any decision on the matter – not even "an application for a permit," according to Algemeen Dagblad.
Aboutaleb insisted that he must first "know" the facts of the issue even though the AFP reported that his spokesman had stressed the project would need to move ahead as the Nieuwe Maas is "the only route to the sea" from Oceanco.
And the mayor stressed that if the project did proceed, Bezos would need to foot the bill on it.
But the project would prove incredibly unpopular: The bridge dates from 1878 and was rebuilt after the Nazis bombed it in 1940 during World War II. The local council completed a major repair on the bridge in 2017 and promised not to dismantle the bridge again.
Aboutaleb claimed that the "fuss" about the issue was exaggerated by the media, but a Facebook campaign to organize an egging of Y721 as it sails down the river has gathered hundreds of supporters, The New York Times reported.
"Rotterdammers are proud of their city and don’t tear down iconic buildings just because you are super rich," said Pablo Stormann, organizer of "Throwing eggs at superyacht Jeff Bezos." He said he started the group "mostly" as a joke.