Too much...

The idea of affixing padlocks (love locks) on bridges – and elsewhere – reached Paris some five or six years ago. Especially the Pont des Arts (see previous posts here) has been the privileged place to confirm your love by attaching a signed padlock and then throw the key in the Seine River. As we can see there is now hardly any space for additional padlocks. (Compare with the photo I took in 2008 with not a single love lock.) This summer, it was estimated that there may be a million of padlocks weighing some 60 tons on the bridge and part of the panels and the parapets have been damaged…

Some people, especially locals, clearly felt that things have been going too far. Already in the beginning of this year two American ladies living in Paris launched a site “No Love Locks”

Paris authorities have been rather tolerant on this subject compared with many other cities where, in some cases, fines have even been introduced, but since a couple of weeks ago steps have been taken. After some “cleaning” already in 2010, more drastic measures are on their way. Many of the panels have been protected by plywood to prevent the further adding of love locks. Some panels have been replaced by glass as an experiment. 

In the meantime, awaiting a final solution, the bridge has lost part of its charm. The people selling padlocks on or close to the bridge may have to find other jobs.... but there are still many other places in Paris where love locks can be attached (until further?). 


Anne in Oxfordshire said...

Hi Peter , it is a very sad state of affairs , and so disgusting that the bridges have turned into the states that they have . No respect for history or the people of Paris .

The authorities should of stepped in sooner and stamped this out . I am with NO LOVE LOCKS all the way.

Anonymous said...

¡Que horror!
Y como dice Mme. Anne: ¡Que falta de respeto!

Do not those tourists know that when you're in somebody else's country is the same like being under somebody else's roof? There are very clear rules for behaving when being a guest!

Thank you Peter for sharing.
¡Estoy indignada!

Thérèse said...

Une solution pour sauver les monuments historiques: savais-tu qu'il y a des cadenas virtuels?

Jeanie said...

I confess, Peter, that when I visited Paris with Rick, we left a lock. Back then it seemed like "the thing to do." We hadn't heard any of the controversy, it just seemed like that was part of Paris. There were no signs, nothing to say what damage this could do to these beautiful bridges.

I wish now I could clip it off -- the beautiful bridge on which we left it -- Pont Solferino, which I think now has a new name.

I still love the tradition of leaving something behind. Perhaps ribbons tied on a bridge, something light and beautiful, would be a lovely substitute.

Virginia said...

I"m glad I got a nice shot of the Pont des Arts a few years ago before the locks ruined it. Perhaps the glass with allow for some better shots this trip. What is the hold up? Why doesn't the City just cut them off and fine the sellers around the bridge?

lady jicky said...

I just hated it and I really thought Paris would stop it!

Its a gimmick and its so not Chic!