Todd DeFeo

Parisian authorities begin removing locks from Pont des Arts bridge

(Photo by Todd DeFeo)

If a Roy Orbison song was needed for the occasion, perhaps “It’s Over” or “After the Love has Gone” would best fit the occasion.

Parisian authorities on Monday started removing an estimated 1 million locks weighing 45 tons from the Pont des Arts bridge in Paris, better known as the “Love Lock” bridge. Officials will also remove locks from Pont de l’Archeveche near the historic Notre Dame cathedral.

Lovers, according to tradition, attach locks to the fencing of the bridge and throw the key into the River Seine below, a sign their true love will never fade. Last year, a section of fencing on Paris’ famous Pont des Arts collapsed under the weight of thousands of locks.

“Paris is going to be the first city to put an end to this practice,” France 24 quoted Paris Deputy Mayor Bruno Julliard as saying. “Maybe other cities will thank us.”

“There are many other ways to say, ‘I love you’,” he said. “The message we want to send is that this practice has to stop.”

The city is replacing the chain link fencing with glass, which is set to be installed this fall, France 24. The Guardian newspaper previously reported Parisian officials expressed concern about the weight of the locks, but hesitated to take action because of the bridge’s popularity among tourists.

Last August, the city 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.

About Todd DeFeo
Todd DeFeo loves to travel anywhere, anytime, taking pictures and notes. An award-winning reporter, Todd revels in the experience and the fact that every place has a story to tell. He is owner of The DeFeo Groupe and also edits Express Telegraph and Railfanning.org.