Paris Bridge Buckles Under 'Locks of Love'

Weight of padlocks collapsed fencing, shuts span temporarily

By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff

Posted Jun 12, 2014 2:27 AM CDT

(Newser) Campaigners against "love locks" might now be tempted to say "I told you so" to those who called them unromantic fools: An iconic Paris bridge was evacuated after the weight of padlocks left by couples collapsed a metal grill. Nobody was injured by the collapse on the Pont des Arts bridge, which was closed for several hours, but city officials say they will step up efforts to find an alternative for couples who want to prove their love by attaching locks to bridges and throwing the keys in the river, Reuters reports.

The trend—which was inspired by a romantic novel in Italy in 2006 and has spread worldwide, the Guardian finds—has left bridges in many cities groaning under the weight of padlocks and authorities are starting to clamp down. In New York City, the transportation department has called for an end to the practice, saying maintenance crews removed some 5,600 padlocks from the Brooklyn Bridge in less than a year and the locks are threatening to damage the 131-year-old landmark, the New York Daily News reports.

A wooden repaired section is seen, at top left, on the Pont des Arts bridge after a chunk of fencing with thousands of locks fell off under their weight.   (AP Photo/Francois Mori)
Love locks fixed on the Pont des Arts in Paris.   (AP Photo/Thibault Camus)
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