Paris to break hearts with removal of a million 'love locks' | Inquirer Lifestyle
This Wednesday April 16, 2014 file photo shows a newly wed couple resting on the Pont des Arts in Paris, France. AP

Paris to break hearts with removal of a million ‘love locks’

This Wednesday April 16, 2014 file photo shows a newly wed couple resting on the Pont des Arts in Paris, France.  AP
This Wednesday April 16, 2014 file photo shows a newly wed couple resting on the Pont des Arts in Paris, France. AP

 

Too much love can be a bad thing: Paris city officials, exasperated with lovers sealing their passion by clipping padlocks all over the city, are set to remove 45 tons of the locks next week.

 

Starry-eyed tourists from all over the world flock to the Pont des Arts bridge spanning the Seine River to attach a lock representing their eternal love, and throw the key into the river.

 

But the now-iconic bridge is buckling under the weight of such devotion, and authorities are desperate to stop the craze.

 

Last year police hurriedly ushered tourists off the Pont des Arts when a section of the footbridge collapsed under the weight of the locks covering the 155-meter(509-foot)-long bridge.

 

READ: ‘Locks of love’ bridge in Paris evacuated after railing collapse

 

Plastic panels were put up in places to deter lovebirds and authorities launched a drive to get tourists to upload selfies instead of attaching a lock.

 

But nothing stands in the way of true love, and tourists have kept piling the locks on the bridge and elsewhere.

 

The Pont de l’Archeveche bridge in front of the Notre Dame cathedral is now as inundated with locks, while stray locks can often be spotted around the city.

 

Deploring “destruction of heritage” and a security risk for tourists on the overloaded Pont des Arts, Paris officials have decided enough is enough and will remove all locks from Monday.

 

“We will remove nearly one million padlocks, or 45 tons,” said city official Bruno Julliard, criticizing the “ugliness” of the locks on some of Paris’s most beautiful bridges.

 

The metal grills of the bridge will be replaced with works of art over the summer, and will later be replaced with clear panels.

 

“We want Paris to remain the capital of love and romance,” Julliard said, adding a campaign encouraging lovers to express their love in different ways — such as the selfie initiative — would get underway soon.

 

This April 9, 2014 file photo shows love locks fixed on the Pont des Arts bridge in Paris, France.  AP
This April 9, 2014 file photo shows love locks fixed on the Pont des Arts bridge in Paris, France. AP

 

The city of love 

 

Jean, 57, a tourist from the south of France who was walking arm in arm with Marion, 42, his “mistress”, said the city’s plans were “stupid and a pity.”

 

“It is symbolic to seal your love by attaching a lock to this bridge, here in Paris, the city of love,” he said.

 

READ: In Paris, ‘love locks’ conquer all, even City Hall

 

Guillermo, 33, from Argentina, who was about to clamp his lock on the bridge to show his feelings for his new girlfriend he hopes to marry one day, suggests collecting all the locks “to make a sort of statue or monument.”

 

The city’s move has also annoyed tour guide Vincent Jouaneau, who had accompanied two Philippine couples to the bridge.

 

“It is out of question to stop groups” from coming to attach locks to the bridge, he said, adding he would just take future tourists one bridge up to the Pont Neuf.

 

But the municipality is one step ahead, and is also planning to remove the metal grills from the other targeted bridges.

 

While the trend of attaching locks to the Pont des Arts began in 2008, the problem is not unique to Paris.

 

It is unclear where the idea of using the lock ritual to symbolize love originated, but the padlocks bearing lovers’ initials have spread from European capitals, to as far as Marrakech or China.

  • Mike Gellar

    Lock your love in marriage. I wonder how many of these couples are already married or maybe, separated already.

  • abdul jakul

    pera din yan kapag tinunaw lahat ng bakal, isama mo na ung mga susi sa ilalim.

  • Vertumnus

    It’s one of those insane spur of the moments ideas that somehow spiraled into something completely useless. If the statistics are right, 50% of those marriage locks are now divorce, making the idea of love locks ridiculous. They completely wasted the purpose of locks.

  • doubting tomas

    Solution : instead of using metal locks, using something that’s
    lightweight to express the love.

  • solution: bring in the filipino taong grasa and those padlocks–and anything metallic from the bridge, including the bridge itself–will find its way to the nearest junk shop in no time at all!

    • Kabul Bulan

      Pulis Na Supot = solution ay magpa-tuli ka – BWA HAHAHAHAHA