Fact Check

Welcome to Amsterdam

Rumor: A 'Welcome to Amsterdam' sign instructs obese people to keep their clothes on.

Published May 27, 2015


Claim:   A sign welcoming visitors to Amsterdam instructs obese people to keep their clothes on.


Example:   [Collected via e-mail, May 2015]

This picture has been on Facebook lately, and as the daughter of a Dutch immigrant, I can't imagine that this actually exists in Amsterdam.


Origins:   In May 2015, an old image purportedly showing a "Welcome to Amsterdam" sign with a denigrating message aimed overweight people began recirculating via social media.

The above-displayed photograph has been making the rounds on the Internet since at least 2011, when it was posted to the humor web site 9gag. Although its exact origins are unclear, several factors indicate that it is a digitially manipulated image, including the fact that the coat of arms displayed in the image does not belong to Amsterdam but rather Haarlem:

Oddly enough, the original image does not show Amsterdam or Haarlem; it appears that an anonymous prankster used a "Welcome to Cornwall" sign as his basis:

This sign, too, has been digitally graffitied to include the same offending message pictured on the "Welcome to Amsterdam" sign:

Last updated:   27 May 2015

David Mikkelson founded the site now known as snopes.com back in 1994.