Love Locks on Refugees


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PARIS, FRANCE - FEBRUARY 14: A view of the Pont Des Arts on Valentine's Day on February 14, 2014 in Paris, France. The accumulation of the 'love locks', a phenomenon popular in many European cities, where couples attach a lock to symbolise their love to the mesh panels on the sides of the bridge, is starting to pose safety concerns, due to their mass weight. (Photo by Kristy Sparow/Getty Images)

PARIS, FRANCE–In 2015, authorities in Paris decided to end the famous tradition of lovers attaching locks to the Pont des Arts Bridge. This tradition was especially popular among tourist couples. However, locals disliked these proclamations of love, because they weighed down the bridge almost to the point to endangerment. This left Parisians with the task of cutting down an incredible one million padlocks in the process leaving them with 65 ton of scrap metal to deal with.

The ritual of couples attaching locks to bridges is widely popular around Europe, after an Italian author, Federico Moccia, wrote about it in one of his novels.

However, sections of historic bridges made out of stone have began to crumble, causing authorities to install glass panels to prevent lovers from attaching their locks.

Bruno Julliard, first deputy mayor of Paris, said, “Members of the public can buy five or 10 locks, or even clusters of them, all at an affordable price. All of the proceeds will be given to those who work in support and in solidarity of the refugees in Paris.”

Juillard hopes the sale can raise up to €100,000, with the remaining locks being melted down and sold as scrap.

However, thousands of romantics are now given the opportunity to claim their own piece of history from the City of Love.

Lisa Anselmo, from the campaign group No Love Locks,  welcomed the decision, telling The Local, “It’s an inspired idea, and a much better way to show love – the universal kind of love – especially at a time when so many are turning their backs on the refugees of the world.”

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