This Romantic Gesture In Paris Has Lasted Years, But The City Is Destroying It

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Lovers from all around the world travel to Paris and meet on the Pont des Arts to further cement their love with these famous locks.

This Romantic Gesture In Paris Has Lasted Years, But The City Is Destroying It

Paris is filled with history and romance. The city's buildings and structures have stood the test of time and military conflict, and the French city has also been known as a place of romance for centuries.

One structure has quite literally bridged these two aspects of Paris together. The Pont des Arts, a bridge over the Seine river, has long been a meeting place for lovers, as well as the home of a well-known tradition. Unfortunately, it appears that this tradition has met its end.

The locks, symbolic of strong bonds, are traditionally affixed to the sides of the bridge.

Since 2008, couples have placed their locks on the side of the bridge and tossed the keys into the river below.

However, because of the weight of the locks, parts of the bridge have actually collapsed into the river below, presenting an obvious safety hazard.

Many locks are cut off after their addition to the bridge, yet thousands remain. Locals also find the mass of metal unsightly. Mayor Anne Hidalgo and other local officials have tried to persuade tourists to take selfies on the bridge instead of adding their locks. All remaining locks on the bridge were removed this week, and the city continues to campaign for an alternative to the love locks on the Pont des Arts. Over one million locks, weighing in at an astounding 45 tons, have been removed from the bridge to date. The city has also experimented with new materials on the bridge that prevent any locks from being hooked into placed, while also repairing the damage they've already caused.

Hopefully the city will come up with a viable alternative to the locks that both tourists and citizens can agree on. Until then, the lovers' locks will be cast away forever.

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