Please sign in to post.

Paris love locks to be removed

Yea!!! 45 tons worth of "love locks" on the Pont des Arts and the Pont de l'Archeveche near Notre Dame are going to be removed this Monday. The metal sides of the Pont des Arts will be replaced with clear panels so no more locks can be attached.

I for one am very happy they are doing this (even though it's sad that the metal sides of the bridge, which date from 1804 have to be removed). I think the padlocks were an eyesore.

http://time.com/3902417/love-locks-cut-paris-bridge/

Posted by
8293 posts

Oh dear. Whatever will the silly lovers do now?

Posted by
8293 posts

Karen, of course, they will! Should have thought of that.

Posted by
10344 posts

Glad to hear it. When I recently saw the solid wall of locks on the Pont des Arts, I remember thinking these should be removed because they had become an eyesore.

Posted by
8162 posts

I hope they get them off that bridge at the back of Notre Dame as well; it looks like a garbage dump. Time to ban lock sales by peddlers near the bridges and more aggressively discourage the vandals. I'd love to see them pay the homeless by the pound and give them bolt cutters and let them have at it. The hideous things are popping up everywhere. They have been on the POnte Vechio for years although the Italians are more aggressive about removing them. I saw one on a sculpture on a bridge in Chicago a couple of weeks ago.

Posted by
1976 posts

The locks also add a lot of weight to bridges and can weaken them over time.

I saw them on at least 2 bridges in Paris - perhaps the 2 you mentioned, Dawn - and I saw a few on the Millennium Bridge in London. My first thought there was, Oh God, they're spreading!

Posted by
4684 posts

There's an awful lot on the railway/pedestrian bridge across the river in Cologne as well. Personally I think this is one fad that needs to be stamped out hard.

Posted by
3941 posts

I was seeing some on Accademia Bridge last year in Venice - they were trying to encourage people to use ribbons instead I believe...

http://www.italoamericano.org/story/2014-2-12/Accademia-Bridge

I think it's horribly disrespectful (I also recall seeing them along the trails in Cinque Terre). I love my husband but I don't need to prove it by vandalizing something (but then, I'm old (ish) and jaded - lol)

A quote from the article that sums up my feelings on this -

"On the contrary, to Venetians such locks are simply another of the numerous signs that far too many of the more than 20 million tourists who blow through their fragile city each year have absolutely no respect for its landmarks, its culture, its history, or its residents. That such tourists treat the 1,400-year-old city as nothing more than a stage set on which to act out their own personal though commonplace fantasies, with residents reduced to the roles of cardboard-cutout local color or smiling, flattering panderers."

AMEN!

Posted by
7060 posts

Prague is starting to be inundated with them also. Wish there was some way to stop this before it starts, especially in historic and/or restored old city centers. At first it was considered 'cute' or 'romantic' but those who are still doing it now know perfectly well that it is vandalism pure and simple and still they do it. And since most of them buy the locks from vendors near the bridges, something has to be done about them too. It's much worse and more destructive than graffiti. I hate to see them. And I hate to see cities have to restructure their old bridges to avoid this menace.

Posted by
8293 posts

The cynic in me makes me surmise that in spite of the " romantic" gesture of locking their love forever on the bridge, most of them have now divorced or moved on to the next love of their lives. Love's labour lost.

Posted by
32241 posts

I agree, it's time they put a stop to this practice. Rather than replace the metal grates, another method would be to put the "bum's rush" on the lock salesmen near the bridges, and send out a city works crew every day with a sturdy set of bolt cutters until tourists get the message. If they want to get nasty, pass a bylaw and fine those caught attaching locks to city property.

Posted by
193 posts

I have to say I'm a little sad at this news having never seen the 'locks of love', but reading about it and seeing other people's pics. Sounds like by the time we get to Paris - they will be gone.

Posted by
7060 posts

advocatecare - not sure if you're serious or being facetious, but a bridge full of love locks is not a must see for most people.

Posted by
193 posts

Only recently learning about the bridge of locks, I was actually looking forward to seeing it. Of course, I never thought of the potential damage and harm because it seemed to be a long standing tradition. My father was going to find some old locks for us to add when we went. So, yes, it had a 'romantic, I'm in Paris and you're not' factor about it. But, now, after reading about the sheer mass of locks, the weight, the potential of damage - I understand. But still, many travelers have seen this and photographed it and can say 'I was there when'. We wont be able to do that. It will not ruin our trip, but it does sound like a piece of (recent) history is going away. Just an observation about our timing.

Posted by
10289 posts

Long Standing Tradition!!! Now there's an example of taking dreams for reality. Glad you read these posts and learned otherwise. It came from some recent cheesey chickflick.

The long standing tradition is the Pont des Arts in Impressionist paintings, long before this Hollywood flick gave it the misnomer bridge of something or another.

I wonder what would happen if we tried to put a lock on a landmark in Beijing or Moscow or Tehran. Just wondering.

Posted by
1265 posts

I agree with Ken. I happened to stumble upon this bridge in a 2009 visit to Paris. I found the lock peddlers to be aggressive and annoying.

Posted by
10344 posts

The 45 tons of love locks, besides being an eyesore, were causing structural problems on Pont des Arts.

Posted by
33123 posts

I watched them being removed on TV this afternoon - I'm very pleased. It has looked like a junkyard for a long time.

Posted by
1825 posts

You can Google video of the locks being removed along with tourists "lamenting" their removal. They should take a selfy of themselves adding a love lock to complete the douchebaggery of this five year old "tradition". Why not just bring a can of spray paint or carve your initials in a tree in the park. Same thing.

Posted by
7060 posts

It just seems to me that lovers have been able to be romantic in Paris for hundreds of years without defacing and damaging public property to do it. This is just another example of today's narcissistic attitudes - if I want to do it, I will do it even if I have to vandalize property, annoy other people, or whatever it takes because it's 'all about me'.

Posted by
2120 posts

With the disclaimer that not 'everything' one hears on the news is accurate, we heard one international news report today that all the locks (and the structural elements to which they are attached) will be warehoused somewhere until the local authorities determine what to do with them all.

I personally think if they are melted down and re-cast into a huge 'tasteful' public art piece with a romantic theme, that would make a nice tourist attraction. And, if grids are then put up around said public art, so tourists would have a 'safe place' to do the lock thing, it could become a 'destination.'

While the structural risks to the bridges (not to mention how it detracts from the historical beauty of said bridges) is a huge issue, I'm sure many couples have chosen to go to Paris (whether consciously or sub-consciously) so they can 'lock their love.'

I do agree with Norma -- I'm sure a large number of those locks belong to the HUGE percentage of divorced people or simply failed relationships among those who had not yet married. And, one could also hypothesize that some individuals were 'serial lockers' with multiple loves (over time.....well, okay, maybe even simultaneously...giggle, giggle).

Even more infuriating to me is to see people deface tree trunks. The initials carved into trees in the Generalife Garden in Barcelona is an example of people not respecting nature and historical sites!!!

Posted by
12040 posts

It's much worse and more destructive than graffiti.

I prefer to think of it in the same category of graffiti. It's an eyesore, damaging, difficult, costly and time-consuming to remove, and is all about the narcissism of the participant. Few tourist would think of buying a can of spray paint and defacing a building in Europe. The locks need to be thought of in the same manner.

Seriously, if you're not yet convinced, look at the pictures. This isn't romantic, it's ugly.

Posted by
38 posts

Just walked by today, they are being removed alright. Of course 1/2 a kilometer away I saw two on a tree branch. Go figure...

Posted by
73 posts

It's about time!!! I'm so glad they're finally taking actions. The locks have recently been cancer like.. spreading all over the world.

It broke my heart when I saw that Pont des Arts were burdened with the locks a few years ago. The bridge pre love locks is one of my most cherished memories of Paris.

Posted by
10344 posts

This is great: 30 to zero in favor of removing the locks.
Seems like on this site there always has to be a contrarian. But not, so far, on this issue.

Posted by
7175 posts

31 !!! Can't people find an original and individual way to express their love that doesn't violate public property or impinge on others enjoyment. Just a mob of unthinking sheep !!

Posted by
4535 posts

Also glad they are finally cracking down on this. It is VANDALISM pure and simple. And I can't help but think of all the keys tossed into the Seine. That can't be good for the health of the river.

They are storing the panels for now. Some will likely be mounted somewhere as an exhibit but most will reportedly be melted down.

Posted by
1806 posts

Definitely not a "long-standing tradition". I have a lot of photos taken from that bridge which I snapped in 2007 because it was the bridge featured in one of the final scenes of Sex & The City. There was not a single lock on the bridge when they filmed that scene or during my stop there a few years later to get some pictures of it. Nice that they are removing all the locks, but think it is sad that plexiglass panels are going to be put up to prevent future visitors from trying to affix new locks. And these yahoos will find another bridge to start using.

While I was not a fan of the locks in Paris, I did live in Philly and as gross as it was, I actually was one of many locals that really loved walking past The Gum Trees on South Street. Passerby would affix their used colored chewing gum wads onto the bark of the tree where it would dry and stay. The gum wads started taking on almost a mosaic of color quality after awhile. Alas, they chopped down the trees.

Posted by
719 posts

Walked to Notre Dame yesterday and all of the locks were still there. Not sure if they'll get them all, but I hope so...

Posted by
3392 posts

This is such a good thing...the news yesterday said that on just one bridge the locks weighed 45 tons altogether! So bad for them structurally and so ridiculous looking. They were removing them by simply lifting off entire sections of railing with a small crane.
I was in San Francisco a few weeks ago and noticed a few starting to collect on the Golden Gate Bridge in a few places...I get the idea but don't people think?