Paris Breaks Up With Love Locks

1M locks will be cut off starting tomorrow
By Polly Davis Doig,  Newser Staff
Posted May 31, 2015 8:15 AM CDT
Paris Breaks Up With Love Locks
This April 9, 2014 file photo shows love locks fixed on the Pont des Arts bridge in Paris, France.   (AP Photo/Thibault Camus, File)

The City of Lights is breaking up with a beloved yet needlessly dangerous gesture of tourists and lovers: That of couples scribbling their names on a padlock and locking it to the side of Paris' Pont des Arts, then tossing the key in the River Seine, you know, for love. As the BBC reports, there are now a million of the so-called "love locks"—about 45 tons' worth—and they actually broke part of the bridge last year, in what city council calls "two big problems: significant damage to our heritage, and a risk to visitors' security." Starting tomorrow, they're all coming down as the city gets busy cutting them off; to prevent the truly determined, first paintings, then see-through panels will replace metal bars.

The Pont de l'Archeveche is also losing its bling. "We want Paris to remain the capital of love and romance," says Paris' deputy mayor, adding that couples will be offered other, less-destructive ways to show their emotions. The BBC notes that a move to encourage selfies instead of locks last year "was not successful." As Marie Lodi notes at Jezebel, "Guess everyone will have to find a new cheesy thing to do. What happened to a good ol’ fashioned gesture of carving your initials on a tree? Actually, don’t do that either. Love letter? Mixtape? Skywriting?" (Or how about this?)

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