Lovers won’t be able to “seal” their commitment in Paris anymore. The City of Love is putting an end to the practice of putting up a padlock on the guardrails installed on Pont des Arts Bridge.
Lovers have been “locking their love” by latching a lock on the Pont des Arts Bridge and then throwing the key into the Seine. People strongly believed by doing so, they were effectively sealing their love for eternity. However, this act of love was straining the guardrails and the bridge, which was never designed to take the weight of people as well as thousands of padlocks that remained permanently affixed.
The responsibility of shouldering the eternal love was causing the bridge to crumble, said the city council. They feel the locks are weighing down the bridge, and it has become a safety hazard. Hence the locks, currently weighing almost half a ton, will be removed from the bridge. Moreover, the city has put up fliers informing people that the practice of installing padlocks is no longer condoned. According to authorities, the practice is akin to vandalism.
To dissuade lovers from attaching locks, the city has closed the bridge and will replace the vintage iron railings — which are nearly invisible from all the padlocks — with painted glass panels. The authorities are making sure lovers do not break the rules.
Though slightly disappointed, lovers have been undeterred and have already started padlocking their love on 10 other bridges including the Archbishop Bridge behind the Notre Dame. While many have openly grumbled on social media, others feel it is a commendable decision to protect the bridges since Paris hosts thousands of love-struck couples every year and the safety of the bridge has been risked by the padlocks.
Incidentally, Paris isn’t the only city to witness such seemingly senseless acts of love. Lovers have padlocked their commitment in various locations in Australia, New York, and Florence. Authorities in these regions have already taken action to preserve the historical monuments.
There are multiple laws to protect the monuments from vandalism, but Paris allowed visitors to install padlocks. While it’s the lovers who indulge in such practices, others believe you can lock away your secrets too. Even friends are known to seal their bond of friendship in a similar manner.
What was once a revered and must-do tradition will be banned by Parisian law. However, given how ingenious people are, they might soon find some loophole, the authorities believe.
[Image Credit | Kristy Sparow / Getty]