The Paris love-locks… I know, I know. We have all discussed, photographed and blogged the death out of these little objects… They have a turbulent existence it would seem… All these declarations of passion, desire and commitment have become cumbersome to the city of Paris, but no one wants to discard them.
In a recent article in the Marianne magazine (a leftist French publication) there was an article about these locks and the weight they pull (and place) in the very heart of the city of lights, the city of love.
The article tells us that in May 2010 a whole slew of the locks (about 1500) disappeared in one night. Everyone blamed the city of Paris, but it was an artist of the École des Beaux Arts who took them to create an œuvre. And yet another artist also took about 130 kilos of locks to melt them down into his art project.
If you stroll along the Pont des Arts you can see the incredible amount of locks that gather, like rapid growing grapes, dangling off lamp posts even, for lack of space on the bridge barrier.
In Rome, it is now subject to a fine if you put a lock on public spaces like the ponte Vecchio. But the authorities in Paris do not want to punish this act. In this incredibly tourist dependant city, nicknamed the city of love, fining these gestures could provoke a lot of resentment amongst that cash cows tourists.
But, there is a problem. The locks weigh heavily on the bridge. It wasn’t built to hold up all these tons of locks. About 700000 of them, weighing around 55 !tons! says the Marianne article. There is currently one grill barrier that has been removed as it was so badly damaged by the locks. It has been replaced by a board that has since been covered in graffiti tags which I can only assume (and hope) are more declarations of amour. Apparently the grill was not discarded though, the authorities couldn’t bring themselves to throw away all those declarations of love, and it has been stored somewhere. I imagine it sitting in some dark sad damp warehouse, lonely little locks keeping each other comfort with words of love.
So what to do?!? The city can’t keep removing parts of the bridge. And the bridge can’t keep taking on more and more weight.
What do you think should be done?
Let me know your thoughts in the comments.