The famous “I Amsterdam” sign, that sits outside the Rijksmuseum, has been removed after it was accused of becoming a congested “selfie spot” and promoting mass tourism.
Dutch authorities removed the giant letters on 3 December 2018 following a petition from city councillor Femke Roosma, a representative of left-wing party GroenLinks.
According to Roosma, the sign was too individualistic and sent out the wrong message about the city’s values of diversity, tolerance, and solidarity. “The message of ‘I amsterdam’ is that we are all individuals in the city. We want to show something different,” she said, according to The Telegraph. “This slogan reduces the city to a background in a marketing story.”
The letters were first installed over a decade ago in 2004 as part of a marketing campaign helmed by ad agency KesselsKramer, which actually aimed to celebrate the diversity of Amsterdam’s residents – the opposite of what Roosma claims it has now become.
Reports suggest that in recent months over 6,000 selfies were taken in front of the sign every day, leading critics to suggest it removed the focus from the museum and made the public more self-involved.
According to I Amsterdam, the letters have been restored and will now tour the country, helping to highlight some lesser-known neighbourhoods.