Lisa Anselmo and Lisa Taylor Huff, two Americans based in Paris, tell us why there is nothing romantic behind locking your love to a bridge in Paris. They are eager to hear your own views in the comments section below.
The historic bridge, the Pont des Arts, was once a serene and beautiful place in the heart of Paris where Parisians and visitors alike came to admire the stunning views and enjoy romantic moments. Paris is the city of amour, after all.
But in 2008, a global trend known as “love locks” (padlocks fastened to a bridge to symbolize everlasting love) began sweeping over this bridge and others, including the landmark Pont Neuf, like a plague. Now, in 2014, these bridges have been disfigured by a thick layer of rusting, misguided “love” that has even spread to lampposts and statues.
The locks cause damage to the bridges, and people often take dangerous risks in attaching them. In addition, the presence of these locks has opened the door to graffiti and other destructive acts, turning the once-beautiful center of Paris into a visual cesspool. And while the locks pollute our views, thousands of discarded keys pollute the Seine below.
We ask you: Is this love?
While, at one point, the city was able to remove the locks with some regularity, the problem has now escalated beyond the capacity to efficiently manage it.
And taxpayers must repeatedly shoulder the costs of removal and repairs for damaged sections of the bridges. The situation has become insupportable, and it is clear that the current approach of “tolerance and maintenance” isn’t working.
This problem has degraded to outright vandalism, and the sheer weight of the locks has raised safety concerns on the Pont des Arts, which was not designed to withstand the added tonnage of tens of thousands of rusting padlocks. Jean-Pierre Lecoq, current mayor of the 6th arrondissement, has voiced concerns over the impending danger of a piece of the parapet collapsing onto people on a passing barge below.
“It’s not a question of when,” he warns. “Sooner or later a catastrophe will happen.” We agree with him.
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.
Let us tell city officials to act now to reclaim and restore these public spaces for the enjoyment of all—and in so doing, return true romance to the soul of Paris.
Lisa Anselmo (left) and Lisa Taylor Huff (right) are so fed up with love locks that they have founded the No Love Locks campaign. For more information you can visit their website by clicking here or check out their Facebook page.
If you want to sign their petition calling for the love locks to be removed then CLICK HERE.
Readers reactions on Twitter:
@TheLocalFrance Lovely at first yrs back …now it's just an eyesore…I can't see a solution at the moment tho !?!?!
— Anttambo (@anttambooo) March 10, 2014
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