Is leaving a padlock on a bridge in “The City of Light” a true sign of love? What about a selfie?
Yes, according to Paris officials. On Monday, city officials suggested lovers snap a selfie rather than leave a padlock on one of the city’s famous bridges as a sign of their dedication, according to a myriad of media reports.
With the announcement, it would appear lovers are no longer locked into one way to express their affection while in Paris.
“The idea is to give couples the alternative of a selfie instead of a love lock and explain that they are weighing too heavily on Parisian bridges,” AFP quoted an anonymous city hall official as saying.
The move comes after a section of fencing on Paris’ famous Pont des Arts collapsed in June under the weight of thousands of locks. After the railing collapse, the bridge was evacuated, but reopened.
Lovers, according to tradition, attach locks to the fencing then throw the key into the River Seine below, a sign their true love will never fade. The lock tradition, which apparently started in the 2000s, has led to the rise of entrepreneurs who sell locks to lovebirds.
“We didn’t want to get into a repressive situation and penalise tourists, so we’re suggesting a social wall,” Le Parisien newspaper quoted a city hall spokesman as saying.
The city has launched a new website to push its Love Without Locks (#lovewithoutlocks) initiative. “An end to padlocks: through this site, declare your love in pictures and bridges will be spared a heavy heart,” the website reads.