Paris Bridge is Falling Down, Weighed by ‘Love Locks’
By Esther Tanquintic-Misa | June 10, 2014 12:12 PM EST
The Pont des Arts footbridge over the Seine in central Paris, better known as the bridge festered with love locks by couples expressing their undying love for each other, closed on Sunday after a portion collapsed onto the walkway. The weight of love apparently was too much for the bridge to handle.
Over the weekend, police cordoned off the area from visitors after a 2.4-metre section of railing broke loose shortly before 6 pm. No one was reported hurt by the incident because good thing the fence collapsed inwards.
The pedestrian Pont des Arts bridge links the Palais du Louvre and the Institut de France.
The trend of placing love locks on the bridge by star-crossed lovers remains unknown, but authorities said it all began in 2008. Each lock approximately weighs 90 grams.
The Paris mayor's office said as much as 10 tonnes, or 22,000 pounds, of locks are now there attached to the railing on the sides of Pont des Arts bridge, which has a commanding view of the Ile de la Cite from the west.
"One can really wonder about the long-term capacity of this bridge to bear such weight," Bloomberg quoted Jean-Pierre Lecocq, the 6th arrondissement's mayor opposed to the locks.
"The issue raised by the locks is both one of aesthetics and security," Bruno Julliard, the Paris mayor's culture adviser, told AFP in May.
In January 2014, a blog calling for the love locks to be removed was launched by Lisa Anselmo.
"The delicate Pont des Arts has become a freakish glut of indistinguishable metal lumps, and worse, is now in mortal danger. Poor, lovely bridge."
"And what about all those keys you're tossing into the Seine? Did you think about that, my tourist lovebirds? That can't be good for the health of the river. But what do you care? It's not like you live here; it's just a photo op [sic] to you."
"To sum up, dear travellers from other lands, kindly unlock your love and lift the weight of it from the shoulders of the Parisians. Save Paris's frail, old bridges. That's a much more loving act, don't you think?"
Lovebirds visiting the French capital not only have inundated the full 150-metre Pont des Arts with love locks, but have also targeted other bridges and landmarks as well.
Forty locks have been reportedly removed from the Eiffel tower. Imagine if that massive tower comes falling down.
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