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Too many padlocks on Parisian bridges


08-15-2014 20:27 BJT

A city of love facing a 'love-lock' crisis - so say city officials. They're calling on amorous visitors to stop leaving padlocks at iconic spots along the River Seine. It comes after part of a bridge recently collapsed from the weight of "too much love". Authorities say they want couples to seal their love another way: by taking selfies.

'Love locks' began appearing on Paris bridges around five years ago. Many are inscribed, and left by couples wanting to symbolize their enduring love here in the city of love.

But now it looks like the love affair might be over. Paris authorities have been forced to intervene, after a metal grill, laden with padlocks, collapsed on the Pont des Arts footbridge in June.

Heart-shaped stickers have now been distributed at several beauty spots, to encourage couples to take a lighter approach with an everlasting selfie. Officials recently discovered that the famous Pont de l'Archeveche was holding up 27 thousand kilos of padlocks.

"It could cause a barrier to collapse, and hit a tourist boat passing underneath. There's also a pedestrian walkway below. So it's dangerous. But as well as that, it might damage the bridge and in turn, some of the heritage of Paris." said Vanessa Panetto, Director, Paris Town Hall Activities Unit.

Tourists visiting Paris are divided on the issue.

"From my point of view it's okay, no problem, it's common also in Verona in Italy, near the house of Romeo and Juliet, and it's common also in Florence, in Rome, so why not?"

"I think it's a concept of sealing your love, and throwing the keys away then if he wants to break up he needs to dive in the water and get it, so I don't think he's going to do that but it's a nice concept."

Some have taken on the new guidelines, and switched to the spirit of "selfies". Many though, say they'll carry on locking their love away over the Seine. Last year on Valentine's Day, Paris officials used saws to remove thousands of padlocks. But so far, they're struggling to unlock the amorous tide.


A city of love facing a

A city of love facing a 'love-lock' crisis

A city of love facing a

A city of love facing a 'love-lock' crisis

A city of love facing a

A city of love facing a 'love-lock' crisis


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