Paris: The controversial love locks Attaching padlocks to a bridge and throwing the key into the Seine. Is it a romantic idea, or public defacement? Budget Travel Tuesday, Mar 29, 2011, 4:41 AM Pont des Arts (Courtesy Ophof/Flickr) Budget Travel LLC, 2016

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mar 29 2011

Paris: The controversial love locks

Pont des Arts (Courtesy Ophof/Flickr)
Pont des Arts (Courtesy Ophof/Flickr)

Paris's "love padlocks": Romantic idea, or public defacement?

The railings on Paris's Pont des Arts bridge are covered with multi-colored padlocks.

For a few years, couples have been attaching padlocks to the pedestrian bridge. They toss the keys into the Seine in a gesture of endless love.

No one is sure how the tradition started. The HuffPo reports that the gesture may have been copied from lovers in China. Chinese couples have locking up their love and throwing away the key from the sides of Mount Huang for decades.

In the case of Paris, officials think the padlocks are an eyesore. So one day last year, about 2,000 of them disappeared from the bridge. Some locals and visitors complained, and the locks are slowly being added again.

Romantic idea, or public defacement? It's all in the eye of the beholder.


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