Tuesday, April 29, 2014 - 16:04
Yellow Submarine leaving Amsterdam neighborhood
The Yellow Submarine in the Bickersgracht in Amsterdam is going to be taken away. Owner Rob Meijer as well as residents of the neighborhood are very disappointed to see it go. "You don't take away something so unique, do you?" Tourists and passers-by often fall into spontaneous choruses of the Beatles song when passing the sub, singing "We all live in a yellow submarine, a yellow submarine, a yellow submarine..." "I think it's awful that that crazy thing has to go", tells the 75-year old Atie Waas, who lives across from where the submarine lies in the water. "It fits so well here: there's many creatives." Owner of the submarine, Rob Meijer, is making the vessel sail-ready as it is being towed away on Tuesday. He says that Waternet decided that the submarine should be gone by the 1st of May because it is not a sailing vessel but an object. "And objects are forbidden on the canals." The sub doesn't have engines yet due to the bankruptcy of the company from which Meijer ordered them, so it cannot propel itself. Meijer lost the lawsuit that would prevent the vessel's departure. The submarine used to be a gay bar, when it was floating on the Seine in Paris. Meijer now wants to fix it up and rent it out for events, but is being slowed down by all the chaos. He has been forced to strip out the insides of the sub for fire hazard reasons. Meijer is fighting the decision of Waternet, and has a letter from 1997 that shows he has approval from the municipality to keep "business vessels" in the water of the Bickersgracht, he also owns a dock in the water, so cannot understand why it now has to go. He believes that the sub will return to the canal, however. "At the end of May there is another court case. If I also lose that one then I'll appeal."