• France's news in English
 
app_header_v3

Paris 'love locks' could cause 'fatal accident'

Dan MacGuill · 19 Aug 2013, 16:04

Published: 19 Aug 2013 15:00 GMT+02:00
Updated: 19 Aug 2013 16:04 GMT+02:00

The iconic Pont des Arts bridge across the Seine in the French capital has for years drawn thousands upon thousands of lovers to take part in a romantic ritual.

They buy a padlock, inscribe their names on it, look around for a gap on the bridge’s side grill, and by securing the lump of metal to it, make a wildly romantic gesture of public and undying love and devotion.

But love, it seems is not without its risks, and one local lawmaker has called for the locks to be completely removed from the bridge every six months, warning that the weight of all that metal could cause a fatal accident.

“Since this walkway overlooks the Seine, and there are a lot of tourist boats that pass under it, any relatively heavy object falling from a certain height could cause a passenger an injury, or even a fatal blow,” Mayor of the city’s 6th arrondissement, Jean-Pierre Lecoq told RTL radio on Sunday.

The collective weight of the “love locks” has now reached “many tonnes, without a doubt,” according to a technician interviewed by France 3 television.

At the moment, Paris authorities are keeping a regular check on the pressure that the weight exerts on the bridge's structure.

“Our agents do regular inspections, and when they find that any part of the grill has been warped by the locks, they remove it, and put a new one in place,” an official told France 3 over the weekend.

But new safety concerns, however, might force the city to replace the locks themselves instead.

 

Let's Be Frank: 'Love locks are turning Paris into a cesspool'

 

Lecoq, for one, is proposing that all those symbols of eternal love be removed every six months.

Visitors to Paris looking to express their mutual adoration, however, have alternatives to the Pont des Arts, for now at least.

After the "love locks" mysteriously disappeared from the Pont des Arts one night in May 2010, outraged romantics carried on the ritual on the Pont de l’Archevêché, next to Notre Dame cathedral.

Story continues below…

City authorities, who had vowed 10 days previously that "the locks would be removed, eventually [from the Pont des Arts]," denied they had been involved in taking them.

Since then, the Passerelle Léopold-Sédar Senghor, between the Musée D’Orsay and Jardin des Tuileries, has also become a hotspot for committed couples.

Click here to find out more about the No Love Locks campaign.


The Pont de l'Archevêché, with Notre Dame cathedral in the background. Photo: Jimmy Baikovicius.


The Passerelle Léopold-Sédar Senghor over the Seine river in Paris. Photo: Juan V. Vera del Campo

Dan MacGuill (dan.macguill@thelocal.com)

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Facebook vs France
Facebook vagina row will be settled in France, court says
THe Gustave Courbet painting "The Origin of the World" Is it art or pornography? Photo: AFP

Facebook vagina row will be settled in France, court says
40 minutes ago

A huge row over the posting on Facebook of a famous painting of a vagina will be thrashed out in a French court after a landmark ruling on Friday.

IN IMAGES: Bordeaux floods after heavy rain in south west
Photo: Laure Urbano/twitter

IN IMAGES: Bordeaux floods after heavy rain in south west
1 hour ago

See what happens when the mighty Garonne river bursts its banks in Bordeaux on Friday.

France fires warning to Britain over eurozone veto
David Cameron and Francois Hollande. Photo: AFP

France fires warning to Britain over eurozone veto
3 hours ago

France warned Britain on Friday it could not expect to win veto powers over closer integration of the eurozone single currency area in talks on its own future in the EU.

Revealed: The real romantic spots in Paris
Photo: Flickr/Damien Roué

Revealed: The real romantic spots in Paris
3 hours ago

If you had to pick the most romantic spot in Paris, which would it be? See what a group of Paris-based writers went for when we asked them.

France says it's time to move migrants from Calais camp
Photo: AFP

France says it's time to move migrants from Calais camp
4 hours ago

France says "the time has come" to evacuate around half of the jungle migrant camp in Calais

Valentine's Day no-go zones
Paris: The no-go zones for singles on Valentine's Day
"Love is dead". How should singles approach Paris? Photo: Shutterstock

Paris: The no-go zones for singles on Valentine's Day
4 hours ago

Paris is going to be overrun with smooching couples this weekend, so if you're single you need to know where to avoid.

Paris attacks
DNA tests suggest unknown Paris attacker still at large

DNA tests suggest unknown Paris attacker still at large
6 hours ago

Up until now everyone presumed the suicide bomb vest dumped in a bin to the south of Paris was that of France's public enemy number one Salah Abdeslam. But DNA tests suggest an unidentified terrorist is at large.

VIDEO
See what became of this idyllic Normandy tourist resort
Photo: Andia & Alpaca Productions

See what became of this idyllic Normandy tourist resort
7 hours ago

It was meant to be a series of beachside villas and a resort - so how did it become a ghost village where street-artists have taken over?

Hollande: It's time to make labour market more flexible
Photo: AFP

Hollande: It's time to make labour market more flexible
7 hours ago

The French president says France is going to follow the Nordic labour market model of "flexisecurity", as he runs out of time to fix the country’s jobs crisis.

French public to decide on much-hated airport plan
Men work on a banner which translate as "No to Notre-Dame-des-Landes airport". Photo: AFP

French public to decide on much-hated airport plan
8 hours ago

After years of protests the French president says the fate of the much-criticised Notre-Dame-des-Landes airport project in western France will now be in the hands of the public.

Sponsored Article
US taxes and FATCA: 'The time for hiding is over'
Gallery
Ten expat complaints about their French lovers
Sponsored Article
Back to Boho chic: Win your new season wardrobe
Gallery
French expressions for having sex you won't find in your dictionary
What happened to liberté, égalité, fraternité in France?
'France just isn't what it was and it needs guns,' says Donald Trump
Features
Notre-Dame-des-Landes: Does France really need a new airport?
National
France's deadliest coach crashes since 1973
Business & Money
Champagne and cognac lead record French alcohol exports
Politics
Scandals and deals: Fabius bows out (but he won't be short of cash)
Society
The English called 'barbarians' after this 'massacre' of French crepes
National
This terrifying video shows why you should avoid the sea during a storm
Lifestyle
A closer look at the 11 different American expats you'll meet in France
Gallery
Ten reasons why France is a great place to work
Politics
Why France is unlikely to force UK to move border back home
Society
The French foods you need to eat (in moderation) to stay healthy
Lifestyle
So where do all the Americans live in France and where do they avoid?
Public warned as gale force winds and giant waves lash the French coastline
Lifestyle
How Paris plans to become a 'model' of cleanliness - that's not a joke
Only in France - Pig's entrails, cheese and steak sold in vending machines
Travel
Wait... that's not snow! Check out France's most unique ski slope
Culture
Don't panic, France isn't bidding a final adieu to the circumflex
Culture
VIDEO: UK group performs Shakespeare for Calais refugees
National
France cuts more red tape: E.G. No license needed to collect horse's sperm
Gallery
How France could really simplify the French language (for us learners)
3,429
jobs available