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article imageLovers in Paris to lose their love locks (Video)

By Anne Sewell     Jun 13, 2014 in Lifestyle
Paris - Romantics in Paris are upset, as thousands of the "love locks," currently hanging on bridges in the city, are to be removed. This comes just days after a portion of one of those bridges collapsed under the weight of the iconic love symbols.
The background behind all this is that since around 2008, the Pont des Arts bridge which crosses the Seine in Paris, has drawn the attention of thousands of lovers. To declare their undying love, these lovers buy a metal padlock, incribe it with their names and find a gap on a grill on the bridge to secure the love lock. All this in a romantic gesture of undying love and devotion.
However, a section of the iconic Pont des Arts collapsed just last week due to the weight of this undying devotion, and now authorities in Paris are seeking a long-term solution to the problem.
Initially, authorities have plans to remove 37 grills from the bridges — each struggling under the weight of half a ton of love locks — to ensure the public's safety, Reportedly authorities have been warning of the possibility of a fatal accident caused by the danger of the weight of the locks. While in the past they have removed individual grills, this time the authorities say the whole lot has to go.
In a press conference Thursday, deputy mayor Bruno Julliard announced that officials will carrying on taking down the grills from the Pont des Arts and the Pont des l'Archevêché. Apparently the Town Hall will also take steps to stop lovers from locking their love onto the bridges in future.
“We have also asked the police to dissuade those who sell padlocks on the bridge,” Julliard said, adding that in the short term, tourists are to be discouraged from attaching the locks to the bridges. However, in the long term the Town Hall “will endeavor to find an alternative involving the imagination of artists.”
“Handing out fines will fix nothing, we are not going to station police there 24 hours a day,” he said.
While the concept itself sounds romantic, others have claimed that the mass of metal love locks is turning Paris into a "visual cesspool." In fact, two Americans, Lisa Anselmo and Lisa Taylor Huff, decided to start the "No Love Locks" campaign and petition to try and solve the problem.
"We believe the problem will only cease when the Paris City Council enacts and enforces an outright ban on “love locks,” permanently removing the plague from our bridges," they said in an opinion piece for The Local.
It seems, however, it will be a difficult task indeed to stop the practice. One tweet on the "No Love Locks" website advises, "The city has removed locks from ALL the street lamps on the Pont des Arts. But one of them already has 3 new locks."
The video above shows the extent of the love locks and includes an interview by Reuters with a spokeswoman from No Love Locks.
Some people have wedding photos taken with the love locks as a background. (Paris  France)
Some people have wedding photos taken with the love locks as a background. (Paris, France)
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