Two letters of the enormous I AMSTERDAM marketing slogan have gone missing from the iconic logo’s location at Museumplein in the night of February 22, 2010.
The letters ‘A’ and ‘M’ disappeared Monday night — steel scaffolding and all — leaving just the red letter ‘I’ and the white letters ‘STERDAM.’
© · Photo by Matt Rubens
Charles van Renesse, director of Amsterdam Partners — the promotion platform behind the logo — is puzzled.
“We’re talking about two letters that combined weigh at least 500 kilo (1102 pounds),” he told local daily Het Parool.
Located in at the back of the Rijksmusem, the I AMSTERDAM logo — 2 meters (6.5 feet) high and 24 meters (26 yards) long — has become one of the most photographed sights in Amsterdam.
Tourists clamber up, in and around the giant letters to have their pictures taken.
A copy of the red and white logo pops up at events throughout Amsterdam.
Van Renesse thinks a moveable barrier that normally prevents cars and trucks to get near the logo was left in the ‘down’ position — possibly due to construction work being performed at the museum.
This would have allowed a small truck to transport the letters elsewhere, but it is not known how the letters were removed.
Van Renesse’s bewilderment made place for downright unbelief when the letters were later found advertised at auction website Marktplaats as “The Best Known Letters In The Netherlands.”
Underneath a photograph of the two letters – against the backdrop of an unmarked storage shed — the ad’s text read: “Hoe ver durf je te gaan om ze te krijgen?” (How far dare you go to get them?”).
The ad was also posted to a second auction website.
Amsterdam Partners says it has filed a complaint with the police.
Meanwhile, the publishers of DutchAmsterdam.nl would like to point out that Amsterdam Partners is a public private cooperation between the business community, the City of Amsterdam, regional local governments and regional promotional organizations. Its task? Promoting Amsterdam.
Could the disappearance of the letters be an attempt at viral marketing?
Indeed, in the place of the missing letters — which are bolted onto one platform — a 3D logo for Sony’s Origami Killer computer game was found.
The name of the person who put the letters on sale at Marktplaats was Erik Gilliroam — an anagram for ‘origami killer.’
That’s all we know — except for the fact that the letters eventually reappeared.
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