A file image of a couple on the Pont des Arts. Photo: AFP
A year and a half ago, workers stripped the Pont des Arts of around 1 million padlocks that had been attached by lovers over the years.
Since then, the 65 tonnes of love locks (this inludes 20 tonnes taken from the nearby Pont de l'Archevêché) have been gathering dust.
But not for much longer.
Bruno Julliard, the environment chief at Paris City Hall, has announced that ten tonnes worth of the locks would be sold off to anyone hoping to take a piece of modern Paris history with them.
“Members of the public can buy five or ten locks, or even clusters of them, all at an affordable price,” he told journalists last week.
“All of the proceeds will be given to to those who work in support and in solidarity of the refugees in Paris.”
He said that the sales could bring in up to €100,000, adding that anything that wasn't sold would be melted and then sold. The sales are expected to start early next year, although exact details remain unclear as yet.
Paris-based American Lisa Anselmo, who along with Lisa Taylor Huff set up the No Love Locks preservation group, said the move was a “touching end to the story” of the Pont des Arts 'love locks'.
“This is the true meaning of love in action. We hope other cities around the world will follow the lead of Mayor Anne Hidalgo,” she said.
“It’s an inspired idea, and a much better way to show love – the universal kind of love – especially at a time when so many are turning their backs on the refugees of the world,” she told The Local.
(The new love lock-proof Pont des Arts. AFP)