News: Paris love locks under threat

News: Paris love locks under threat

700,000 padlocks adorn Paris's bridges, left by visiting loved-up couples – but a campaign has branded them “acts of vandalism”, and calls for a city-wide ban

A campaign in Paris has called for the prohibition of 'love locks' attached to the city's bridges, due to concerns over structural damage and the locks' "incredibly ugly" appearance. 

The No Love Locks campaign, founded by two American writers currently living in Paris, has suggested that the symbols of love should be removed from Parisian bridges, and the fixing of further locks should be prohibited.

The duo have gathered almost 2,000 signatures in support of the campaign, although the opposition is strong: 700,000 padlocks are currently fixed to the bridges, and Pont de l'Archevêché has been unofficially renamed 'Lovelock Bridge' by Google. 

The padlocks are traditionally engraved with lovers' initials and fixed to the bridges over the River Seine - a gesture that symbolises 'unbreakable' love. But No Love Locks founders Lisa Anselmo and Lisa Taylor Huff have highlighted the potential structural and aesthetic damage of the trend: "The weight of the locks, especially when there are layers upon layers of them, damages the bridges and creates the need for repetitive and costly repairs. However well-intentioned the locks might be, in fact they are acts of vandalism, and they invite other acts of lawlessness such as graffiti, illegal peddling and reckless behavior." 

While the campaign has received no official governmental support, the official website for Paris has suggested that loved-up visitors may wish to seal their love digitally by sending an 'e-love lock'

The love lock trend has cropped up in other parts of the world, too: newlyweds traditionally leave padlocks on Moscow's Luzhkov bridge, and in Malá Strana in Prague. You'll also find them on the Erdberger and Mozart bridges in Vienna, and at the mausoleum in Baja, Hungary. It is thought that the symbolism of throwing away a padlock key originated in China - and today the fences at Mount Huang are adorned with locks (the keys are often thrown into the valley below, causing environmental concerns). 

What do you think? Are love locks a charming gesture, or a damaging eyesore? Have you ever left one? Tweet us your comments @HoneymoonIdeas or share your thoughts on our Facebook page.

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