Too much love can kill you, so the song goes. This is apparently true for Paris’s famous Pont des Arts bridge after a part of the railing holding thousands of padlocks collapsed due to the weight.
The bridge is known to most tourists, lovers in particular, who write their names on padlocks, hook them onto the metal grilles on the bridge, and then throw the key into the river Siene. These “love locks” are supposed to be a promise to remain together. The bridge has been a witness to thousands of lovers who sealed their promises with the locks.
But as much as they want to keep these mementos of love, Paris officials said they will be removing all the love locks from the bridge because (1) the weight is damaging the bridge and is structurally degrading Paris’s heritage and (2) it poses danger to the local Parisians, visitors, and tourists.
The bridge will be closed for a week to carry out the dismantling of the padlocks. The metal grilles, which were built in 1804, will be replaced by panels featuring the artworks of international artists, and in October, with glass panels.
“We want Paris to remain the capital of love and romance,” said Bruno Julliard, Paris’s deputy mayor. A press conference regarding the removal of the padlocks is expected on Monday, June 1.
A facebook post from No Love Locks page (by an expat couple living in Paris named Lisa Anselmo and Lisa Taylor Huff, according to Mashable) that said, “SAY GOODBYE TO LOVE LOCKS ON THE PONT DES ARTS”, is a validation that lovers visiting Paris in the future will have to think of another way to seal their promises of love.