Wednesday 11 June 2014


There is a bridge in Paris called the Pont Des Arts Bridge, where for many years, lovers have been visiting this site, writing their initials or putting a photo on a padlock and attaching it to the bridge as a sign of their love. Yes, Paris definitely brings out the romantic in people. The problem is, now this bridge is collapsing in one area of its fencing due to the overwhelming amount of locks padlocked to the bridge. These ‘lovelocks,’ once a testament of the endurance of love, are now perhaps a suggestion that love is just too darn heavy. Or perhaps, too much love is overkill?

On one hand, I love traditions. Any traditions for that matter where human beings can proclaim their (positive) feelings and participate in a romantic gesture on a grand scale. I think it’s romantic gestures such as this that make the world a better place. Or at least deflect us from the other gory stuff that is going on in the world. More love, less….well, gunfire for starters. But as with everything, sometimes an innocent gesture can go to far. Many Parisians (why doesn’t this surprise me) say that the bridge is an eyesore riddled with 'metal lumps' and now the bridge is in ‘mortal danger.’ Oh the drama. Then again, other locals pride themselves on the fact that Paris is such a love mecca and don’t want this to change. Bruno Julliard, the city’s culture secretary, aptly said,  “Paris is the capital of love and is meant to stay as such.”

This symbolic act of chaining one’s love to bridges in a lovelock is not exclusive to Paris apparently. Bridges all over the world have experienced the same fate, from Russia, to Hungary, China to Guam (something tells me the penalties for this in some places is much more scary). Apparently the idea came from two Italian novels in the early nineties where the gesture was first introduced. So I suppose Paris can blame Italy at the moment for having to close the Pont Des Arts Bridge for a day. 

I am all for public safety, and certainly don’t want the bridge to give out one day under the weight of all that love, but I would also hate to see another tradition get pushed to the wayside. Not sure what the solution is (another bridge? A lovelock wall? A mountain of locks in the French countryside?), but if anyone can figure it out, it's the city d'amour!

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