Officials warn that “love locks” on bridges endanger the structures

Love is weighing heavily on ageing Parisian bridges.

Structures can no longer cope with thousands of heavy love locks that both Parisians and tourists place there every year, officials say.

Instead, people are being asked to take hashtagged selfies to upload onto a website dedicated to enduringlove.

With giant stickers in three languages on the Pont de l’Archeveche – French, English and Spanish – Paris began its ‘Lovewithoutlocks’ campaign on Wednesday.

“We are asking Parisians, citizens and tourists alike, to be civic-minded, and make them understand that thelocks have become dangerous for cities,” Vanessa Panetto, City Hall representative in charge of Parisian events, said.

The tradition of lovers’ locks is a new one, dating back a decade or so, and its origins are murky.

But it has begun spreading elsewhere in Paris, including to the Eiffel Tower.

In Moscow, where the tradition has also taken hold, there isn’t yet concern over structural damage to bridges.

On a central Moscow bridge, known as The Bridge of Love, locks are placed on artificial trees rather than on the bridge itself, and these get moved from time to time and replaced by new, empty trees.

“This is really a very good tradition to have a love lock,” said Moscow resident Lyubov Mukhina.

“And if the bridge collapses, a new one should be definitely built, and not just one bridge,” she added.

In Rome locks are being placed on a lamp instead.

Residents like Katia Baccaglio think they’re a good idea.

“When a man and woman meet they try to create something, to unite themselves. So the bridge is in the same way what leads you on to the same path.
(Copyright 2014 Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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