The course of true love never did run smooth, as Shakespeare noted but there are calls for the lovelocks on the bridges of Paris to be entirely removed after another incident of the weight of the thousands of locks causing damage to the Pont des Arts.
This weekend several metres of railings on the Pont des Arts collapsed – and this is not the first time this has happened. I was in Paris in February and had fun taking photos in the beautiful evening light of what is one of the most famously romantic spots in Paris. I certainly wouldn’t want the bridge to be further damaged. But should they all be taken down?
The Pont des Arts was originally built in the early 1800s and then reconstructed in the 1980s so it is not exactly a historic structure but it is probably one of the most beautiful bridges in Paris. You could look at the love locks as forming a kind of modern sculpture. Or are they more like a metallic tumour taking over the bridge?
The Pont des Arts is not the only bridge in Paris popular with couples wanting to proclaim their love through hardward. The Pont de l’Archeveche and the Passerelle Simone de Beauvoir are also well known ‘love-lock bridges’.
The weight of the locks causes the metal panels of the bridge to sag and so they are regularly removed and replaced. The old panels covered in locks are kept in a warehouse – that has no view of the Seine.
But so as long as the authorities are willing to keep doing this it is probably worthwhile to maintain the reputation of Paris as the most romantic city in the world.
By Natasha von Geldern
What do you think? Should they take the lovelocks off the Pont des Arts in Paris?