Started out as an initiative of the Parisians to maintain the architectural integrity of their beloved city, the “love lock” issue has generated much more buzz that it was expected to. At the moment, Paris authorities have put their love lock removal plan into action, but the tourists do not seem to be giving up this symbol, as they have simply moved it to another bridge.
After about 10,000 signed a petition initiated by the “No Love Locks” association, it became clear that the tourists were the only ones in love with the symbolic value of the infamous love locks. The Parisians requested that they be removed immediately, as they do not constitute a flattering fit with the local architecture, as well as being an important safety hazard.
Starting June 1st, the Pont des Arts, the home of the romantic love locks has been closed to the public, precisely with the aim of removing the padlocks that are destroying it. The authorities plan to make the changes until June 8th, when the bridge will temporarily be provided with plastic panels to replace the love locks.
Then, these panels will be replaced by the display of international artwork, making the Pont des Arts worthy of its name. However this is not the endpoint for the famous bridge, but only a summertime solution. Starting this fall, Parisian authorities have decided to introduce plexiglass panels, so that the tourists get a better look at the surrounding buildings.
Furthermore, both the plexiglass and the plastic panels will be strategically placed, as tourists do not seem to let go of the idea of love locks lightly. Those people who did not accept that they not make it in time to place their symbol of love in Paris simply moved to the next bridge, in complete disregard of the entire initiative.
Therefore, changing the bridges into ones that are not love lock friendly seems to be the only option in the face of such love-filled tourists armed with big locks that symbolize their big love.
This is bound to create some kind of further response from the “No Love Locks” association who already regards the practice as something the tourists do when they come to their city. They actually find it somewhat of an eyesore, and will definitely not accept that it simply moves to another bridge.
On the famous Pont des Arts, over 1 million locks symbolized the eternal love of their owners. However, it seems that the bridge could simply not take so much love, as the collective weight of the love locks amounted to 45 tons. And that is whole lot of love, even for Paris, the international city of love.
Parisian authorities have expressed their desire to maintain their reputation of the city of love, but hopefully without the love locks bringing down their historic bridges. Despite the fact that an adjustment period was to be expected, harsher measures will have to be enforced if the tourists are going to keep pledging their love in physical form on the local buildings.
The infamous love locks have even made it on the Tour Eiffel, in the tourists’ utterly hysterical desire to leave their mark on the city of love. The symbol has even made it to many other European cities, like Vienna and Prague, who are not implementing any measures for stopping it for the moment.
It remains to be seen just how bad are the tourists going to take the no love lock rule, as the practice will soon be prohibited all around Paris. If they will not accept that placing a padlock and throwing away they key is simply not acceptable anymore, then Parisian authorities might have to lock them up and throw away the key in order to make them understand that love locks basically constitute vandalism.
Image Source: lovelockstory.eu