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Love locks: Romanticism vs. Reality

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Mainly a touristic attraction

A touristic attraction for foreigners

Origins of Love Locks in Paris

Since 2008, love locks have sprouted everywhere in the City of Love. Lovers who want to show their love to the world by attaching a padlock to a bridge and throwing the key into the Seine are numerous. The most emblematic place for this trend is undoubtedly Pont des Arts, a pedestrian bridge that connects the Louvre to the Palace of the Institute. It has spread gradually to other bridges in the capital, and illegal vendors have understood this well, not hesitating to sell padlocks of sometimes questionable quality or even already rusty padlocks to, sometimes, naïve tourists…

It may destroy the myth, but it is worth remembering the reality behind the romantic image : this trend is not only a deterioration of public urban equipment, which proves expensive for both the city and its inhabitants, but also raises serious security problems, in addition to aesthetics questions (but let’s leave that one to the people; whatever you think about the beauty of these padlocks is up to you) !

Love locks on the Pont des Arts in Paris. ParisByM tells you all about the controversy

Too many love locks on the bridges block the beautiful view

The weight of love was too heavy…

Pont des arts

2 grids collapsed on the Pont des Arts

Last Sunday (June 8th), 2 grids on the famous Pont des Arts in Paris collapsed under the weight of hundreds of love locks attached by tourists every day. Fortunately, they fell on the bridge, not in the Seine and not on the head of a tourist passing under the bridge on a boat. Fortunately, there was no one nearby for those tens of kilos of metal to fall on anyone’s feet. Municipal services immediately blocked the bridge to prevent someone from getting hurt or even falling into the water, especially children, since the guardrail was missing 2.40 meters. Tragedy was prevented this time, but…

Still, the environmental question remains: these locks quickly rust and rust spreads to the structure of metal bridges, the keys thrown into the Seine pollute the water of the river, and not to mention, the beautiful panoramic view is now blocked by locks upon locks.

The city council says it feels concerned about the problem and seeks “alternative solutions, artistic, ecological and humanly acceptable” for this question that poses “problems of safety and aesthetics.” More than a year ago, the mayor of the 6th district (where the Pont des Arts is located) already drew attention to the problem in a national television report (see the video below).

Two American women, in love with Paris and its beauties, have launched a petition to ban this practice. They explain in detail all the issues with this trend on their website, NoLoveLocks.

There are so many other ways to proclaim one’s love in Paris, as we mentioned in one of our previous articles, 20 places to say I Love You. And if you still need convincing, know that the lock supposed to be a testimony of your love forever is likely to end up in the trash after one or two years, removed by the city services. A way less romantic ending than expected…

Let’s bet that now that you know the dangers of love locks, you will surely find other ways, more creative and respectful, to show your feelings to your loved one.

Sad ending for a supposedly endless love, thrown in the public garbage.

Sad ending for a supposedly endless love…

In Paris, there are many other ways to express your love. Check our related post:

Romantic trips to Paris