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Visiting France

No more Love please, Paris iconic bridge loses its locks

media City municipal employees lower iron grills covered with "love locks" into a truck after they were removed from the Pont des Arts in Paris, France, June 1, 2015 REUTERS/Philippe Wojazer

Couples visiting Paris will no longer be able to celebrate their love by strapping a padlock on the famous Pont des Arts bridge. The city of lovers on Monday began removing almost a million of its famous "love locks," weighing up to a staggering 45 tons.

The weight of love has become unbearable for the city's Pont des Arts brige. And so on Monday, city council men, armed with bolt cutters, began cutting through these symbols of love, destroying a cherished tradition by tourists all over.

Health and Safety officials say there is no longer any room for romance in Paris and that the romantic gestures are destroying the bridge, and pose a risk for visitors' security.

Last June, part of Pont des Arts’ railing- which was built in1804 during the Napoleon-era- collapsed under the weight of the locks, forcing police to close the iconic structure while repairs were made.

Instead of metal grilles, the panels will be replaced by 'padlock-proof' plexiglass in an effort to thwart loving couples.

However, an English architect by the name of Colin Kovacs said in daily newspaper Le Parisien, that couples would be tempted to draw on the glass screen, and that the method wouldn't prevent them from leaving a memento.

Instead, Kovacs has come up with another solution: replace the railing's vertical bars with open rails, which he says would prevent lovers from hanging up their padlocks.

"Having holes in the bars instead of crosses, would allow the padlocks to be removed more easily each evening," he told the Parisien.

Meanwhile, artists have begun trying to salvage some of the padlocks in honour of the thousands of couples.

But the Paris council is reluctant for the padlocks to be transferred to other bridges in the capital like Pont de l'Archevêche and the Simone de Beauvoir pathway.

The council's initiative was in response to a 'No Love Locks' campaign on Facebook by Parisians and ex-pats tired of the practice which they claimed was an 'eyesore'.

 

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