Starry-eyed tourists from around the world flock to the Pont des Arts bridge spanning the Seine river to place a lock that represents eternal love, and throw the key into the river. But now iconic bridge is sagging under the weight of so much devotion, and the authorities are desperate to stop the madness.
Last year, police conducted hastily tourists outside the Pont des Arts, where a section of the pedestrian bridge collapsed under the weight of the padlocks covering 155m (509 ft) long bridge. Plastic panels were placed in locations to deter lovebirds, and authorities launched a campaign to get tourists to take selfies instead of attaching a lock.
But nothing gets in the way of true love, and tourists have kept piling the locks on the bridge and elsewhere. The Pont de l’Archevêché bridge in front of the Cathedral of Notre Dame is so flooded with locks, while street blockades often be seen around the city.
Regretting ‘destruction of heritage “and a safety risk for tourists in the overloaded Pont des Arts, Paris officials have decided enough is enough from Monday all locks will be removed.
“We will remove nearly one million padlocks, or 45 tonnes,” said city official Bruno Julliard, criticising the “ugliness” of the locks on some of Paris’s most beautiful bridges.