GDANSK (Reuters) – Thousands of fans have flocked to Gdansk’s magnificent amber-hued stadium whose colour honours the city’s most famous product but the city’s jewellers are angry at how little amber they are selling.
"We usually have a lot of older German tourists in June who have a big appetite for amber, but the football is keeping them away," said an assistant at jeweller Arbisz, close to Gdansk’s St Mary’s Church.
The amber ranges from simple bracelets of unpolished stones to huge pendants set in silver, which can fetch several thousand euros.
Amber nectar sellers, or rather the city’s bars, have seen a roaring trade over the last fortnight however, after thousands of Spanish, Italian, Irish, Croatian and German fans have visited Gdansk where matches have been staged at the PGE Arena.
The stadium’s exterior is covered in 18,000 polycarbonate plates designed to resemble amber since the majority of the world’s amber deposits lie close to Poland’s Baltic coast.
"The Spanish fans bought a few pendants, and they were lovely cheerful people to have around," said shop assistant Julia, sitting in the empty Amber Art boutique on Gdansk’s main tourist street, while thousands of fans passed by outside.
"I guess these people are only here for one thing."
Amber is fossilized tree resin which has taken millions of years to form, and is found along the Baltic coast.
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