If you’re a selfie-obsessed traveler, you might want to scratch Amsterdam of your to-visit list. The famous red and white “I amsterdam” sign in front of Museum Square’s Rijksmuseum, and one of the city’s most recognizable landmarks, has been removed.
Given the immense draw of the letters for tourists seeking a photo opportunity, the square had become overcrowded and unnavigable. “I’m glad to see it go,” said Rodney Bolt, Telegraph Travel’s Amsterdam expert. “For me it has become a symbol of mindless mass tourism, where people would more readily take a selfie outside the Rijksmuseum than really look at or care about the paintings within.”
The sign, built 14 years ago, was the scene of over 6,000 selfies daily, according to an estimate by Amsterdam marketing.
While you might assume residents are pleased by the move, and by the impeding thinning of crowds in the area, 66 percent of Amsterdam residents actually disapprove of the sign’s removal. “For many people,” said Janine Fluyt of Amsterdam Marketing to the Telegraph, “the slogan functions as an identifying feature…here in Amsterdam, you can be who you are. Anyone who contributes anything to Amsterdam can feel part of it, be that permanently or temporarily.”
The “I amsterdam” sentiment, however, won’t be disappearing completely. It will remain as the city’s official marketing slogan, and the letters will still stand at Amsterdam’s Airport Schiphol, as well as at festivals and events across the Amsterdam area.