Love Locks in Paris – Level 3

10-06-2015 15:00

It may be the City of Love, but it seems that one bridge in Paris, that love has become just too heavy to bear. After becoming a shrine for love-struck couples over the years, the famous “love locks” at the Pont des Arts Bridge have now been removed.

The pedestrian bridge had become a famous spot for amorous tourists who seek to immortalise their love by leaving an initialed padlock attached to its metallic grate railings. But the hundreds of thousands of padlocks had become so heavy that they were putting the 19th century structure at risk. In fact, last summer, part of the bridge collapsed onto the walkway.

The city’s government recently issued a statement to say the padlocks spoiled the aesthetics of the bridge and underlined the potential risk for additional railing collapses. So on Monday, workers began removing entire metallic panels from the bridge. It’s thought the locks will now be disposed of, something that which has upset some tourists.

“I heard that it’s just like going to be like, thrown out. I think they should at least put them in a museum, or you know, actually, put it somewhere so people can see it, cause I think they’re just going to put it in the bin.”

“Yes, it’s very sad. We came hoping to put it in the middle, but now we found out it’s going to be illegal so, we’re going to put it right there.”
The existing railings will initially be replaced with panels covered in street art and later this year by Plexiglas. This would prevent new locks from being put on the bridge.

But tourists don’t have to worry too much, as ten other bridges in Paris allow the same “love lock” tradition, and lovers will still find a way to profess their love in the world’s most romantic city, well, at least for a while.   

Difficult words: to be just too heavy to bear (to have too much weight and to be difficult to handle), shrine (a place where you honour something), amorous (loving), immortalise (to make last forever), aesthetics (artistic look), underlined (to tell people something is important), potential (possible), profess (to tell many people).



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