Visitors to Paris have been sealing their love for one another by attaching padlocks to the Pont des Arts bridge since 2008. However, this tradition is coming to an end after city officials announced they would begin removing the locks at the beginning of June.
The Love Lock tradition started out as a small-scale trend amongst tourists staying in the city’s hotels and apartments. However, it quickly escalated, and there are now estimated to be around 700,000 locks weighing down the bridge. The weight of all this love has caused parts of the promenade to begin to crumble. As the Pont des Arts filled up with locks, tourists started taking the tradition to other bridges across the city. Love locks have even cropped up in other cities around the world.
Paris City Council cites a number of issues with the locks that have led to their decision to remove them. This includes the degradation of the property and the safety risk to locals and tourists.
The Council has already tried other measures to halt the tradition, but the trend has continued. Last summer, they encouraged people to take selfies while on the bridge. The locks were also covered up around Valentine’s Day, when there is traditionally an upsurge in romantic tourists adding to the collection.
After the locks are removed, temporary art will go up in its place. This will be replaced by a permanent set of glass panels in the fall.
Those looking to cement their love in Paris will now have to find other ways of doing so. Fortunately, the city does not lack romantic settings!