Love can move mountains, as the saying goes, and as evidenced in
Paris this week, it can also collapse bridges.
The city’s iconic Pont des Arts bridge began to give way under the weight of thousands of “love locks” that adorn it, placed there by lovers from around the world as symbols of their lasting affection. A small portion of the bridge crumbled inward, which Parisian police (who closed off the bridge for several hours) deemed fortunate—falling riverside could have been fatal to anyone aboard vessels passing beneath the bridge. No injuries occurred.
The love lock tradition is comparatively new in this historic city of love, starting within the last decade when padlocks began appearing on the Paris bridge, typically bearing the couples’ names; the keys then tossed into the Seine. The custom may have gained popularity due to Hollywood celebrities like Kanye West and Kim Kardashian recently adding padlocks and the spring and summer months in Paris associated with romance.
The Pont des Arts is not only a Paris tourist attraction unto itself, but is an important pedestrian walkway connecting other places of interest across the Seine River, among them the Institut de France, central square and The Louvre.
While it’s not been determined yet, this incident could serve to support the protest groups who have petitioned to have the love locks removed.
If this love lock story leaves you “heavy-hearted” or before you go “locking” for love in all the wrong places, there is no shortage of things for couples to share in Paris. The City of Love makes even breathing seem like a romantic activity.