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Is this Barack and Michelle Obama's long lost Paris love lock?

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Is this Barack and Michelle Obama's long lost Paris love lock?
Photo: phileaslecleateur/Instagram
17:51 CET+01:00
Did Barack and Michelle Obama sneak onto the Pont des Arts during a 2009 trip to Paris and attach a love lock? A Parisian artist who found it believes so and he says all the evidence suggests it's really theirs.
Phileas Le Cléateur believes he has some hot property in his pocket - a padlock with the engraved words "Michelle and Barack, Love forever". 
 
On the back are the words "20 years" and the date 2009. 
 
 

Le mystérieux #cadenasdamour #pontdesarts #lovelocks gravé #michelle&barack #Obama

A photo posted by Phileas Le Cléateur (@phileaslecleateur) on

 
It doesn't take a genius to realize that this may just be a presidential love lock. 
 
But is it?
 
The Frenchman found the lock during one if his "rescue missions" on the Pont des Arts, where he would try and unlock the "cadenas" with old keys so as not to break them, then return them to their rightful owners.
 
Authorities have since removed all the love locks and banned the practice - but not before Le Cléateur and his partner managed to remove around 800 in total.
 
But it was one particularly dirty padlock that caused the biggest surprise for the couple, who uncovered the names of the former US president and his first lady. 
 
"When I found it I was truly taken aback, I was really astonished. I studied it, talked about it with some friends, then thought: 'Why not, why wouldn't the Obamas put a love lock in Paris'?" he told The Local.
 
"After all, everyone knows they're a romantic couple. Perhaps they're the world's favourite couple now that Brad and Angelina have divorced," he added. 
 
And the numbers at least appear to add up. The Obamas were indeed in Paris during the summer of 2009, and did indeed first meet in 1989 - or 20 years previously. 
 
 
For those who think Le Cléateur may simply be looking for publicity with a faked love lock, his Instagram account suggests he is a bonafide Love Lock returner.
 
He has posts dating back to March 2015 in which he is seeking out the people who left a love lock, all with the intention of getting it back to them. He's even had a success or two, judging by the comments. 
 
Having said this, he told The Local that he had found the lock 11 months ago, but "didn't want to divulge that he had found such a nugget" straight away.
 
Either way, the story has captured the imagination of the French media and featured on BFM TV and Paris Match magazine in recent days. 

So could it be a presidential love lock?
 
We suppose it's up to the Obamas to come forward and confirm that it's theirs (and then to reclaim it).
 
If you are reading Michelle or Barack you can email us at news.france@thelocal.com
 
Although if it turns out it was theirs they would probably make an enemy of the anti-love lock campaigners who have fiercely fought for a Paris free from metal padlocks. And with great success.
 
In the meantime, feel free to search through Le Cléateur's Instagram account feed or his Facebook page to find your own locks. 
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