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Amsterdam's Most Famous Photo Op Is Being Removed

Nov. 30, 2018
3 min read
Bicycles lining a bridge over the canals of Amsterdam, Netherlands. Bicycle is major form of transportation in Amsterdam, Netherlands.
Amsterdam's Most Famous Photo Op Is Being Removed
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Did you even go to Amsterdam if you didn't post a photo in front of the iconic "I amsterdam" sign? The 6-foot high, 77-foot long attraction is known for tourists climbing in, around and on top of its famous letters for the perfect picture. But soon, it will be missing from its spot in Museumplein. After more than a decade, the large letters will be removed on Monday, Dec. 3.

Overtourism is a major concern in Amsterdam. Almost 7 million tourists visited the Dutch city in 2017, a large amount for a small city with a population of just 850,000 people. The government had been on the fence on whether the removal of the sign would aid in combating the mass tourism the city has experienced. Back in October, Femke Roosma, leader of the GroenLinks group on the city council said “Iamsterdam stands for individualism while we want a city which stands for solidarity and diversity. In addition, the slogan reduces the city to the backdrop of a marketing story.”

Photo by Danielle Vito.
Photo by Danielle Vito.

More than a month later, the City of Amsterdam has now decided to remove the sign from its home in front of the Rijksmuseum. However, this isn't the end for the sign or marketing slogan. Instead of being removed completely, the letters will travel to different locations throughout Amsterdam, which was actually the original plan for the popular attraction. The city's goal is to "make Amsterdam larger" by distributing visitors more widely and encouraging repeat visitors to venture off to the new locations the sign will be placed.

"In consultation with city districts, cultural venues, residents and businesses, we will decide where the letters are to be located in future," the tourism board noted on its website. Although there aren't any new location plans set in stone, there is an alternative to get a selfie with the slogan in the meantime. There are two slightly smaller versions modeled after the original sign that tourists can still selfie with. One is located at Amsterdam's Schipol Airport, and another set of letters, which already travels to different sites around Amsterdam, can currently be seen at the Student Hotel in Amsterdam West until Dec. 12.

The original sign will be placed into storage early next week while the city decides on where the letters will be displayed next. So don't fret — It's not a "goodbye," but a "see you later."

Featured image by Getty Images