Popular ‘I Amsterdam’ sign that proved a hit with tourists is removed from Dutch capital

Popular ‘I Amsterdam’ sign that proved a hit with tourists is removed from Dutch capital after claims it was ‘destroying community spirit’

  • The sign had stood for 14 years outside the Rijksmuseum on Museum Square 
  • Tourists would flock to have their picture taken beside the red-and-white letters
  • But the sign was branded ‘too individualistic’ by Amsterdam’s city councillors 
  • It has been dismantled and sent to storage under the orders of council chiefs 

Jennifer Newton for MailOnline

A popular sign that read ‘I Amsterdam’ and proved a hit with tourists has been removed from a square in the Dutch capital after claims it was destroying ‘community spirit’.

The giant red-and-white letters had stood outside the Rijksmuseum for 14 years after Amsterdam adopted the slogan for a marketing campaign.

It has been visited by thousands of tourists who flocked to the site to snap pictures to post on social media.

A crane lifts away the popular 'I Amsterdam' sign from outside the Rijksmusuem early on Monday morning 

A crane lifts away the popular ‘I Amsterdam’ sign from outside the Rijksmusuem early on Monday morning 

Council leaders in Amsterdam branded the sign 'too individualistic' and said it opposed 'progressive values'

Council leaders in Amsterdam branded the sign ‘too individualistic’ and said it opposed ‘progressive values’

However, earlier this week, a crane was sent to the Museum Square on the orders of the city council to dismantle the sign and take it to storage.

Council leaders had branded it ‘too individualistic’ and said it opposed ‘progressive values’.

City councillor Femke Roosma, of Amsterdam’s biggest party GroenLinks (Green Left), said: ‘The message of “I Amsterdam” is that we are all individuals in the city. We want to show something different: diversity, tolerance, solidarity.’

The council also criticised the sign for being a symbol of the increasing growth of tourism which is putting too much pressure on the city and its inhabitants.

Amsterdam city council have hired three special 'hosts' who will walk around Museum Square for the next three weeks to inform tourists why the letters have disappeared

Amsterdam city council have hired three special ‘hosts’ who will walk around Museum Square for the next three weeks to inform tourists why the letters have disappeared

Ms Roosma said that in 2017 some 21 million tourists visited Amsterdam, with the figure set to grow to at least 23 million by 2025.

Even though she said she does not think getting rid of the sign will help lower tourist numbers, she added it would be a clear statement.

While fellow councillor Udo Kock, of the left-liberal D66 party, added: ‘I gladly want to remove them because these letters in Museum Square have become a symbol for mass tourism and the negative effects of it.’

But Frits Huffnagel, a former Amsterdam alderman who came up with the idea of putting up the iconic sign in the square in 2004, said he found the reasoning of the left-wing parties mystifying.

The giant red-and-white letters had stood outside the Rijksmuseum for 14 years after Amsterdam adopted the slogan for a marketing campaign

The giant red-and-white letters had stood outside the Rijksmuseum for 14 years after Amsterdam adopted the slogan for a marketing campaign

He explained: ‘The Greens don’t understand a thing about the campaign.

‘I am part of Amsterdam. As a citizen, because I work there, or as a visitor. That together makes Amsterdam. That everyone wants to belong to it. It is connecting people, you gather people under that slogan.’

Amsterdam city council has hired three special ‘hosts’ who will walk around Museum Square for the next three weeks to inform tourists why the letters have disappeared. 


Comments 0

Share what you think

No comments have so far been submitted. Why not be the first to send us your thoughts,
or debate this issue live on our message boards.

Close

 

Close

We will automatically post your comment and a link to the news story to your Facebook timeline at the same time it is posted on MailOnline. To do this we will link your MailOnline account with your Facebook account. We’ll ask you to confirm this for your first post to Facebook.

You can choose on each post whether you would like it to be posted to Facebook. Your details from Facebook will be used to provide you with tailored content, marketing and ads in line with our Privacy Policy.

الموقع يستعمل RSS Poster بدعم القاهرة اليوم