The first love locks appeared in 2000 in Paris in a small bridge. The charm of romance, a little naive and fashion led thousands of people to believe that if they put a lock on the railing of the bridge of the Pont de l’Archevêché and then throw the key into the water, love and passion will last throughout their lives. This craze quickly spread to the surrounding bridges in the neighboring cities and within a few years, in other countries too. Padlocks of love began to appear to many bridges and some lost their names and have been called Bridges of Love from then on.
There would be no problem if it had not exceeded the limit! In recent years, the situation seems to be out of control and a campaign has been launched to stop tourists from putting their padlocks on the bridges. The padlocks are thousands and there have been times when the municipality, on its own initiative, proceeded to remove them, since it has posed threats to the safety of the bridge through the ever increasing weight! All they did, though, was to keep bridges clear for a few weeks and collect dozens of messages with insults and complaints from couples who had left the padlock at a bridge.
The No Love Locks campaign started with the aim to bring the lovers back to their senses. Through the campaign, there is an attempt to make people understand that on the one hand what they do is actually polluting and ultimately what seems to be obvious: the weight is excessive and there is a risk!
There is the issue of spasticity in small bridges which have many thousands of padlocks in their railings, with their weight reaching a few tonnes(!). Even the mayor of the 6th arrondissement, who supports the campaign, said that people must understand how dangerous this situation will be if this continues. The complaint also concerns the thousands of keys that, in accordance with custom, get thrown in the water and form huge blocks. In the past, it had been suggested that the city council would prohibit this, but ultimately the decision was not taken. This campaign gives us a chance to make people aware of the situation and how bad it will turn out if this continues, says Jean-Pierre Lecoq.
At present, against the campaign are the very frustrated owners of dozens of stores, that sell padlocks and even engrave your sweetheart’s and your intials on them, near the bridges.