Amsterdam is making efforts to return the city to its
When Amsterdam installed its famed I AMSTERDAM sculpture outside
the Rijksmuseum in 2004, there was no such thing as Instagram.
Nearly 15 years later, we live in a different world, and the red
and white sculpture has transformed from a public art piece to a
frustrating symbol of the city’s thriving tourism economy.
This week, following a petition from Amsterdam city councillor
Femke Roosma that claimed the sculpture was attracting mass tourism
and promoting the wrong vision for the city, the letters were
craned onto a truck and driven far away from the city center. The
message of the dramatic removal is clear: Amsterdam does not want
to be an
In a statement, Roosma
said, “The message of ‘I amsterdam’ is that we are all
individuals in the city. We want to show something different:
diversity, tolerance, solidarity. This slogan reduces the city to a
background in a marketing story.”
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In 2018, it’s nearly impossible for cities to avoid tourists
who flock to their streets on the recommendation of a social media
geotag, but Amsterdam is certainly trying with proposed
restrictions on Airbnb, cracking down on beer bikes,
and efforts to clear out big public squares like the one where I
AMSTERDAM once stood.
It’s hard to blame the residents. Many complain that their
city no longer feels like their city at all, which has
apparently in the last five years has contributed to 40 percent of
couples leaving the city after their first child. For many magnet
cities, tourism is the ultimate catch-22: It can help a city thrive
but also makes it unbearable.
For those who are upset about the sculpture loosing its prime
location, no need to worry. The letters are soon undergoing a
restoration and will soon be traveling around the city as a roving
installation at festivals and events.
Source: FS – All – Architecture 10
Tourist magnet ‘I Amsterdam’ sign has been removed