Rest assured, the Pont des Arts, one of the oldest remaining pedestrian bridges in Paris still stands–only not as the “Love Locks Bridge” anymore. As of 2015 the siding containing the locks was removed in order to preserve the bridge. Apparently the railing had become so heavy that it would was on the verge of falling into the Seine river and damaging the foundation of the bridge.
The “Love Locks” tradition usually involves a couple or a pair of friends who etch their names into a pad lock and then “lock” it on to the bridge and throw the key into the river
as a romantic gesture to solidify their love…in the city of love.
In order to prevent people from continuing to add locks to the bridge after the prohibition, the local government replaced the railing with a dense glass structure. However, some deviants managed to find lamp posts, other nearby areas, and even other bridges to post their locks. As a traveler and guest in another country, I found simply appalling that people could disrespect such a historic site. See the pictures to get a sense of the damage.
The Mayor’s office in Paris even launched a online campaign, “Love Without Locks,” encouraging tourists to take pictures with the locks instead of leaving them on the bridge.
The web site states: “Our bridges can no longer withstand your gestures of love. Set them free by declaring your love with #lovewithoutlocks.”
Next to the bridge was an array of (over-priced) art stands. It was extremely beautiful, but it did not fit my traveler’s budget.