NOT ETERNAL: Paris Removes Love Locks From Famed Bridge

kim kardashian

Paris’s renowned Pont des Arts bridge, widely acclaimed by tourists and French citizens alike for etching the initials of themselves and a loved one onto a lock and chaining it to the bridge’s scenic overlook, toppling the River Seine, before throwing the key to the padlock into the depths of the murky river down below, so that their love will stay ‘locked’ and eternal, or so it seemed.

The city’s romantic tradition, starting around 2008, is beginning to have dramatic consequences for the bridge itself and Paris residents. In 2014, Parisian authorities were forced to evacuate the tourists from the Pont des Arts when a portion of the bridge began to collapse under the tremendous weight of the thousands of brass padlocks littering the 509 ft long bridge.

Since the discovery that ‘More’ is not necessarily the ‘Merrier’, Parisian citizens are beginning to think twice about the detriments the romantic tradition has on the historic bridge, which provides walkways and access to the other side of the River Seine for thousands everyday.

Two young Americans who reside in Paris, even went so far as to draw up a petition to outlaw the locks on the bridge, which ended up receiving mass amounts of attention, as well as a mass amount of signatures, 10,000 to be exact.

It is clear that local Parisians are not supportive of this “love-locked” tradition, but how do tourists still feel about it?

One tourist interviewed about the issue, by the name of Yilmaz, who partook in the tradition five years prior in 2010, explained,

“It’s like we’re removing some of Paris’s heritage, heritage created by the people.”

Contrarily, Paris city official, Bruno Julliard, was quoted saying, “We will remove nearly one million padlocks or 45 tonnes (tons). Paris should stay the capital of love… just not by using a love-lock.”

The city later installed plastic panels where the metal wired mesh fence once stood saturated with locks from every walk of life, to ensure tourists that this tradition was in fact over.

However, tourists were not deterred, and are still locking up their padlocks in other scenic areas, giving authorities a “major headache”.

With over 45 tons of scrap metal, the padlocks cannot simply just be disposed of. Rather city official Bruno Julliard stated, “We’re thinking of various ways to recycle them.”
Image via Loop

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