On a Paris Bridge, the End of a Love Too Heavy to Bear

A tour boat makes it way along the River Seine as a remaining iron grill panel covered with "love locks" is seen on the Pont des Arts in Paris, France, on June 1, 2015. The bridge is closed from June 1 to June 8 and the iron grills covered with padlocks which hang on the 19th century pedestrian bridge will be removed by city municipal employees. (Reuters Photo/Philippe Wojazer)

By : Reuters | on 7:19 PM June 01, 2015
Category : Life & Style, International, Arts & Culture

Paris. Workmen in Paris started pulling off hundreds of thousands of padlocks attached by lovers to the "Pont des Arts" bridge on Monday, afraid the sheer weight of the romantic tokens was putting the 19th century structure at risk.

The pedestrian bridge has become a shrine for amorous tourists and Parisians alike, who seek to immortalize their love by leaving an initialed padlock attached to its metallic grid railings.

"It's the end of the padlocks," deputy Paris mayor Bruno Julliard said in a statement.

"They spoil the aesthetics of the bridge, are structurally bad for it and can cause accidents," he added, noting that at least one section of railing had already collapsed under the weight in a potential risk to shipping on the River Seine below.

He said the existing railings would be initially replaced with panels covered in street art and later this year by plexiglass.

A couple of tourists from Washington DC turned up unaware of the padlock ban.

"We came with the idea of putting a lock but we found out it's closed and illegal now — so we are just going to put it here at the very end of the bridge so no one can see," Cathy Hominage told Reuters TV.

Reuters

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