The second-wealthiest human bent to the laws of physics Tuesday, as Amazon Executive Chairman Jeff Bezos allowed the mega-yacht he has under construction to be towed from a site in the Netherlands because the massive vessel will be too huge to leave that port upon completion.
A month ago, Rotterdam officials drew condemnation for weighing a plan to dismantle a section of the nearly century-old Koningshaven Bridge—a landmark known locally as De Hef—so that the Amazon kingpin’s 417-foot yacht would have the required clearance once the build is done. The yacht’s manufacturer, Oceanco, withdrew its permit application, one Rotterdam City Council member told the New York Times.
Whereas entertainment superstars once telegraphed a perilous mental status by moving into ranches (see: Neverland, Skywalker, and Spahn), today’s moguls court opprobrium with preposterously lavish yachts (See: David Geffen’s early pandemic selfie aboard his 454-foot Rising Sun, and Steve Bannon’s arrest on the 152-foot Lady May, owned by an exiled Chinese billionaire).
Not to be outdone when he can help it, Bezos’s three-mast, 417-footer—discreetly christened Y721—cost an estimated $500 million, has three deck levels, a swimming pool, its own miniature yacht, and looks increasingly like an ark. When completed, fittingly, it will be the second-largest yacht after Sailing Yacht A, owned by UN-sanctioned Russian oligarch Andrey Melinchenko, no one’s nominee for a humanitarian-of-the-year award.
Reportedly, outraged Rotterdam citizens swore in February to pelt the U.S.S. Bezos with eggs if it forced a dismantling of De Hef. But the commerce tyrant’s image may have been softened slightly by a video published yesterday in which the unfinished floating fortress is being towed away by lesser vessels in the dark of night. It was reportedly bound for a shipyard some 24 miles away, where Oceanco will hopefully complete construction in time for 40 days and nights of rain.
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