Many journey to the most romantic city in the world to literally lock in their love in the ever-popular tourist spot Pont de Arts, but sadly Parisian authorities have ordered the removal of the locks for the safety of pedestrians.
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Paris is not the only country that lovers flock to so they can seal their love. Love locks can be found in China, Europe, and even Australia too, but just like what happened in Paris, these locks have affected the bridges in the area too. It is supposed to symbolize an everlasting union between two people. The key is traditionally thrown in the water to make the love unbreakable.
The practice is based from an Italian novel called Ho Voglia di Te (I Want You) by Federico Moccia, which tells about a young Roman couple who lock their undying love to each other in the Milvian Bridge in Rome, followed by tossing the key out to the Tiber River. Now while most people would roll their eyes in the excessive romanticism this book-turned-movie has offered, it has influenced a generation of couples everywhere.
Moccia actually placed a padlock on the same bridge on the night before the publication to spark the interest of readers everywhere. A week after that night, he went back to see a total of 300 locks decorating the bridge, thus creating a viral phenomenon.
In early 2008, padlocks started to grow in number in the Pont des Arts, and anyone can see the reason behind it. Paris is the city that oozes with romance, driving tourists to aptly rename the bridge the “Love Lock Bridge.”
Understandably, tourists who have celebrated their wedding anniversary in Paris have found more reasons to revisit the bridge and check if their love is still there. One of them is Lily Tillet who could not hide her disappointment with the removal of the locks.
“We have a trip planned in September back to Paris. We intended to go back and see how our love had weathered on our anniversary, however we can no longer do that.”
It was fair to say that authorities had to scramble to control the destruction of the infrastructure, which risked being crumbled down because of the weight of the locks. They replaced the sections, but love locks continued to sprout.
Another problem was the illegal selling of padlocks by peddlers everywhere. This was a situation that Paris had shared globally, but as of 2015, it seemed like lovers around the world needed to look for another way in expressing their love as more and more countries implement stricter rules when it comes to dealing with public infrastructures.
As of 2015, the locks had weighed a total of 45 tons, causing the Pont des Arts to partially collapse. This is an issue that Lisa Anselmo and Lisa Taylor-Huff, American born Parisians are actively bringing awareness on. The girls have launched the online campaign called nolovelocks.com with a tagline that says “Free Your Love. Save Our Bridges.”
Anselmo couldn’t stress out how big the problem really is. “There are locks over 11 bridges and landmarks including the Eiffel Tower, so one bridge does not victory make, but it’s a great start for Paris.”
Those brokenhearted by the locks’ removal have suggested other options. One of them is Fiona Bliss, who have also locked in her love in the Parisian bridge. She suggests, “I think if they take down the locks, they need to be displayed somewhere like a museum or as wall art somewhere as it’s part of the romance of Paris.”
Parisian authorities are also working to remove all traces of padlocks in other areas.