Have you ever heard of Love Locks? In many cities around the world, most notably Paris, young (and old) lovers place a padlock around part of a bridge, a fence or a similar structure. They then lock it to seal their love, and throw the key into the river, most notably, the Seine. I’ve always opposed this for several reasons, mainly because it is vandalism and it’s selfish. Additionally, the locks are not very attractive, as they often rust and are garish colours with engravings on them. Additionally, all of the keys thrown into the river probably have a negative effect on the water, not to mention the riverbed.
Most of the structures to which these locks are attached are historic. Many, such as the railings on the bridges, are there for the safety of citizens. Recently, on the Pont des Arts in Paris, a section of the bridge collapsed due to the weight of the locks. Luckily one of the sight-seeing bateaux wasn’t passing under it.
Think about the weight and heft of a padlock, and then think about the weight of thousands and thousands of them. Frequently, municipalities remove the locks, usually in the dead of night, and there is often great objection to this.
When there’s no more room on the bridge, people have placed large bike locks so more locks can be added. When people don’t have a handy lock, they’re scratching their names into the paint on the bridges or adding graffiti. When one bridge is filled, the lovers move onto other bridges, and even light posts and decorative ironwork.
Some cities, such as Moscow, are trying alternative spaces for the locks and created this tree where people can place their locks. It seems a bit more sensible to me.
Several people in Paris have started a website called No Love Locks, and they’ve got a petition you can sign to voice your objection to the locks.
Paris is the city of light and of love, and to me, locks do not generally symbolize love. What do you think about this idea?