Police recently had to evacuate and redirect visitors to the Pont Des Arts bridge in Paris after a large section collapsed from the heavy weight of love.
Parisian tourist and native couples have been attaching “love locks” to the bridge for quite some time. After writing or engraving their names and messages on the locks, they then throw the key into the Seine River as a symbol of their enduring devotion for one another.
Even though authorities have requested that visitors stop adding new locks to the landmark due to concerns about weight and aesthetics, people have continued with the romantic ritual.
In 2010, the government warned about the bridge’s structural stability.
Frequent inspections are carried out in search of segments of bent grating that must be removed and replaced. Two railings were replaced in July and one in August. Is the Passerelle des Arts to become a victim of the lovebirds who wish to solemnise their enduring love?
The city’s culture secretary, Bruno Julliard, has been assigned by Anne Hidalgo, mayor of Paris, the task to find a solution to the trend that will satisfy both the lovers who wish to leave a lock on the bridge and the activists concerned about the destruction of the historic attraction.
Julliard told the Guardian:
Anne Hidalgo gave me the mission to find artistic, unifying and ecological alternatives to the love locks. But the issue is not a simple one, as both Parisians and tourists are very attached to this symbolic act. Paris is the capital of love and is meant to stay as such.
Currently, you can find locks on two bridges in Paris: the Pont des Arts and Pont de l’Archevêché.
Just in case you plan on visiting this beautiful city and leaving behind a symbol of your undying love, you have to be careful which bridge you put your lock on. Apparently, Pont des Arts is for your committed love, while Pont de l’Archevêché is for your lover.