As far as Paris and padlocks are concerned, (0) … . The French capital has had a definitive falling out with the estimated 1m “love-locks” that it says are threatening some of the city’s most historic monuments.
On Monday, workers armed with bolt cutters closed off the celebrated Pont des Arts over the Seine, (1) … , and began breaking hearts around the world.
Parisian officials have had a turbulent relationship with the trend since it hit Paris in 2008. When the first dewy-eyed couples began declaring their undying love by writing their initials or names on a padlock, attaching it to a monument and throwing the keys into the River Seine, (2) …. .
Since then, however, the locks have grown like metal barnacles over bridge railings, palisades, and parapets. Some have even been spotted on the Eiffel Tower.
Lisa Anselmo and Lisa Taylor Huff, two Americans who live in Paris, had started a campaign (3) … . Their petition currently has more than 10,400 signatures. Anselmo told journalists she was thrilled by the decision to remove the padlocks. “I hope this is the beginning of the end for this destructive trend,” she said.
Local officials had tried to persuade visiting lovers (4) … , but were forced to admit the campaign was a failure.
Paris city hall has denied being a killjoy. “This phenomenon (5) … : a lasting degradation of the heritage of Paris and a risk to the safety of visitors: Parisians and tourists,” it said in a statement.
Bruno Julliard, a deputy mayor, said he hoped to kiss goodbye to such an “ugly” trend.
“We will cut away almost a million locks weighing 45 tonnes,” Julliard said of the Pont des Arts. He warned that similar measures would be taken on the nearby Pont de l’Archevêché, behind Notre-Dame cathedral, (6) … .
The Pont des Arts will be closed all this week while the locks are removed. To prevent their return (7) … , which will also make graffiti easier to remove, after the summer.
“We still hope that Paris will remain the capital of love and romance,” Julliard added.
A - another stop on the path of true lock-love
B - gives rise to two problems
C - it seemed relatively harmless
E - that weighed down the bridge over the Seine in the centre of Paris
F - the authorities plan to install padlock-proof glass panels
G - to persuade the city authorities to clamp down on the locks
H - to take selfies and post a digital declaration of love online
I - where a railing collapsed last year under the weight of so many locks
Photo: The Guardian and Alamy
1I 2C 3G 4H 5B 6A 7F