Life after Love Locks
Art comes back to Paris’ Pont des Arts Bridge.
June 1, 2015 was the day the love died. That day an estimated one million padlocks, dubbed “love locks”, were removed from Paris’ famed Pont des Arts Bridge, connecting the Louvre and the Institute de France across the Seine.
The padlocks, weighing 45 tons, began accumulating on the bridges railways around 2008. By June 2014, they were causing a strain on its infrastructure, and one railing collapsed. A year later, city officials diverted the path of true love for good.
Almost twelve months from the padlocks removal, Parisians and tourists alike are being wooed back to the Pont des Arts by an outdoor art exhibitions.
The first display recently unveiled by artist Daniel Hourde’s “The Enchanted Bridge”. The romance may be dead, but the magic is still alive.
Hourde’s exhibition will see the Pont des Arts adorned with large, still tree sculptures.
The bridge itself has always been a symbol for love and for the arts, the two things that most value above all else. Now, after the removal of the ‘Love Locks’, they are preserving this identity through art, engaging everyone in an exciting new way.
The city’s decision to remove the love locks was met with some disappointment from romantics. The love locks weight damaged the bridge’s structures. It has since replaced the railing with glass panels to deter any new love locks being added. Instead, city officials said lovers can celebrate their union with a selfie on the bridge, rather than by attaching locks.
Although the love locks may be no more, Paris officials are hopeful the French capital will retain its moniker as the ‘City of Love’; and that the former love lock bridge will continue to attract visitors from around the globe.
The Pont des Arts is a symbolic place. Paris is and has always been the city of love, and never needed locks for couples to celebrate their union. The bridge remains a lively and cultural place.
A charity auction selling off ‘love locks’ from Paris Bridge to raise money for refugees recently brought in over $270,000.