There’s been a huge debate recently about whether to remove the “I Amsterdam” letters from their respective locations across the city. Looks like the people have spoken! Here is the latest update…

It’s no secret that the giant IAmsterdam letters have become a symbol of city marketing and mass tourism. GroenLinks, the largest party in Amsterdam, want to scrap the slogans because they “reduce the city to a background in a marketing story.” However, according to a survey by Maurice De Hond, 69% of all Dutch voters and 66% of Amsterdam voters are against their removal.

The Soul of Amsterdam

During this past week, the plan to remove the IAmsterdam letters has created social upheaval and divided a lot of friendship groups. Some people think its a great way to reclaim the soul of Amsterdam, whilst others were quite happy with the big red and white aesthetic of the letters.

“Pics or it didn’t happen”

There are a few IAmsterdam signs around the city, but the most famous one can be found in Museumplein. The area is often teeming with tourists who wait around for their chance to clamber up on a letter and snap their new profile pic. This is the perfect way to bring people – from around the world and from all walks of life – together. Taking a photo here is the easiest way to show your friends (or followers) you’ve visited Amsterdam. The irony is that the letters stand right behind the grand Rijksmuseum building with its Neo-Gothic arches and bicycle tunnel – which might actually make for nicer photo.

Why do people love the sign so much?

It turns out that the sign, to many people, stands for equality. So, if you’re sitting there thinking that the letters themselves are a bit ugly and touristy, then if the letters stay (which seems likely) it might help to know that the meaning goes deeper than that.

According to the initiators of a petition to keep the letters (which has since gathered 7292 signatures and is rising by the minute), IAmsterdam stands for “connection between people of whatever origin, religion and sexual orientation”. It means “I am here. I’m allowed to be here. And together we’re Amsterdam.” It was launched by artist Nico Koster and former city councillor Gonny van den Oudenallen. They are also planning to protest the removal by taking a photo at Museumplein on Wednesday with as many Amsterdam residents as possible.

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What is YOUR perspective on it all? Are you in favour of “IAmsterdam”? We want to know! Tell us how you feel in the comments.

 

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