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'Love lock' tour companies spark anger in Paris

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'Love lock' tour companies spark anger in Paris
Photo: AFP
09:08 CEST+02:00
Tour companies charging tourists over €100 for love lock tours on Paris bridges (plus a glass of Champagne) have outraged the public, who have mobilized online to try and shut them down.
A whopping 45 tonnes of love locks were removed from the railings of the Pont des Arts last year. As recently as last week, new "anti-love lock" mechanisms were attached last week to clamp down on the people still managing to attach padlocks. 
 
But the saga is far from over, with some tour groups continuing to make a quick buck by charging tourists to attach their locks to bridges across the city.  
 
One of these is "Love Lock Workshops", a group that offers a personalized guide, customized locks with different decorations, a glass of champagne, and the possibilities extras like cheese, pastries, and a private singer (see pic below). 
 
This comes at a cost of €125 per person, from organizers who claim on their Facebook site that they're "the first Love Locks sellers on the Pont des Arts".
 
 
But after a posting from a Paris-based blogger last week, which noted that the group was getting some serious publicity from tour sellers Viator for their "romantic" tours, the public have reacted with fury.
 
Anti-love lockers have bombarded the tour site's pages with negative reviews and scathing comments.
 
"Why would you promote and profit from the destruction of the beautiful, historical bridges of Paris? You should be ashamed," wrote one on Facebook. 
 
Others called the organizers "unconscionable" and the tours "destructive". 
 
"So completely out of touch with reality to offer a service that is immoral if not illegal. You should be ashamed of yourselves. What's next? A workshop showing tourists how to insult waiters?" wrote another.
 
 
Paris-based American Lisa Anselmo, who along with Lisa Taylor Huff set up the No Love Locks preservation group, told The Local that "enough was enough". 
 
"The conversation has changed about 'love locks'," she said. 
 
"Profiting from vandalism and degradation of the city's historic landmarks - even after the mayor has made it clear locks are not acceptable - is morally bankrupt, and flies in the face of the laws of the city." 
 
She added that the group needed to be shut down.
 
"These guys only care about themselves, and at the expense of the taxpayers, and their heritage. We will be alerting our contact in the mayor's office. Enough is enough." 
 
Leo Kavernicol, one of the people behind the "Love Lock Workshops", told The Local that she is currently working out whether there is an actual law against love locks. 
 
"I need this information to know whether I will continue or not," she said. 
 
Kavernicol and her group are not the first to end up on No Love Locks' wall of shame.
 
Others in the past have included media company Condé Naste, French hotel chain Sofitel, and American actress Lisa Rinna (see below).
 
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