Paris’ Pont des Arts to become padlock free.
For years Paris has held the crown as the city of romance, with besotted couples descending on the French capital in their droves to drink in the attractiveness, allure and amour that render it the perfect city break destination for love. Indeed, where better than to wander arm-in-arm through the Jardins des Tuileries, enjoy a cosy lunch at an intimate Seine-side bistro or an al-fresco picnic in the grassy Champs de Mars, wile away an hour or two amidst the masterpieces of the Musée d’Orsay or explore the hidden boutiques and antique stores of the Quartier Latin?
And yet, it has been announced that zealous city officials are preparing to remove the timeless romantic symbols left on one of Paris’ most famous romantic bridges spanning the River Seine, the Pont des Arts. Synonymous for its plethora of padlocks attached to the bridge by many a passion-infused couple, the 155-metre-long Pont des Arts is quite literally groaning under the weight of so many metallic declarations of love that, following a partial collapse of the bridge last year, the authorities are set to remove some one million (45 tonnes) of locks next week.
Much like Venice’s efforts to curb the stem the flow of padlocks attached to the Rialto and Accademia Bridges, Paris has already attempted the addition of plastic panels to prevent additional locks being added yet to no avail, with the Pont de l’Archevêché in front of the iconic Notre Dame now a target for the padlock craze. There’s even been an online ‘love lock’ campaign with couples asked to declare their romantic notions with a selfie, rather than a padlock.
Not quite the grand gesture of love, is it?!