One of the world’s most prominent symbols of eternal love is no more.
Romantics worldwide with heart-shaped visions of Paris now have one major reason less to visit the City of Love after almost a million ‘love locks’ fastened to the Pont des Arts bridge spanning the Seine were removed today.
The padlocks, which together weighed an estimated 45 tons, have been blamed for a series of partial bridge collapses last year.
The gesture to lock up and toss the key in the river below is said to be an expression of everlasting love, but it turns out Paris only saw it as a fickle four-letter emotion that brought structural safety standards to their (unbending) knees.
Couples have been attaching locks to the bridge since 2008, and the trend has since spread globally – including in Toronto’s Distillery District.
Authorities in Paris launched an initiative to salvage Paris’ now fleeting reputation as the romance capital of the world that encourages tourists to take selfies on the bridge instead.
A terrible proposition, to say the least.