From padlocks to pens: Loved-up tourists graffiti iconic Paris bridge

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From padlocks to pens: Loved-up tourists graffiti iconic Paris bridge
Photo: AFP

The iconic Pont des Arts in Paris might be free of "love locks" but tourists are finding a new way of leaving their mark on the bridge over the Seine.


The bridge was finally cured of the long term scourge of love locks back in 2015, when the City Hall replaced the railings with glass panels.

But it seems one remedy has provoked another ailment, with some tourists so desperate to leave a sign of their love that have switched from the padlock to the pen.

Recent pictures posted on the Facebook page of the No Love Locks campaign group showed how couples were leaving messages and hearts on the perspex panels.

Lisa Anselmo, Co-founder, No Love Locks told The Local: “The tagging of the Pont des Arts just makes more obvious what we’ve been saying all along: this is about willful destruction of historic places, and a disrespect for Parisians. Locks or pens, it’s the same sickness: ego."
The pictures, which included one couple being caught in the act, sparked anger with many commenters slamming the tourists as "vandals".

"Would people do this in their home town/city? What makes them think it’s OK just because they are away from home? An on-the-spot fine should be introduced," wrote one angry commenter.

Another wrote: "Really cannot believe the disgusting disgraceful behaviour of some people .... go away and vandalise your own town or city."

Others pointed the finger at the police and Paris mayor Anne Hidalgo.

"What is wrong with the police? They can't spare one officer to patrol that beautiful bridge and prevent this?," said one.

"Mayor Hidalgo still too busy making short term apartment rentals illegal to actually take care of her city? Almost glad we never got to the Pont des Arts this visit because this would've made me insane," added another.

The glass panels were placed on the bridge in 2015 after City Hall were finally forced to act after part of the railings collapsed under the sheer weight of the love locks.

Although they are regularly cleaned, the hefty bill is one the Town Hall could do without.

While Pont des Arts may be free of the scourge of love locks, the nearby Leopold-Sedar-Senghor footbridge is still blighted by padlocks.

City Hall has put up signs warning tourists not to place love locks on the bridge but it appears to have had little impact.







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