Paris to remove love locks from the Pont des Arts

Your treasure is about to be trashed, romantic tourists.


Josh Katzowitz


Published May 29, 2015   Updated May 28, 2021, 5:23 pm CDT

Sometimes, you just have to show your love to the world by making a perfectly romantic gesture on a bridge in Paris. And sometimes, the amount of love you’re trying to profess makes that bridge collapse.

That’s what’s happening in Paris on the famed Love Locks bridge (known as Pont des Arts in, you know, French), and the city of Paris is now taking action. According to the BBC, the city will begin removing the locks on Monday to alleviate the weight problem. Last June, a portion of the bridge collapsed, and now, city officials plan to remove about 45 tons of locks (that’s close to a million of the padlocks).

Which, I suppose, is bad news for silly tourists romantic couples who write their names on a lock, snap it onto one of the bridge’s metal grilles, drop the key into the River Seine below, and then declare to an uncaring world that their love is eternal.

The bridge was built in 1804, and it’s an important part of the city’s heritage. But then the tourists acted like tourists and began unwittingly adding weight to the landmark.

“It is a catastrophe for the bridge,” city hall spokeswoman Barbara Atlan told the Wall Street Journal. “We need to preserve the heritage.”

Look at how much the bridge has changed in the past few years, as shown by this photo on the No Love Locks Facebook page—which was started, by the way, by two American expats living in Paris, according to Mashable.

My colleague, Jason Reed, brings up an interesting point, though. Does cutting off each lock mean the couple that locked its love on the bridge in the first place is going to break up and/or get divorced? It’s possible if not probable. I guess that’s sad.

But let’s look ahead to the future. The Journal reports that the city eventually will replace the metal grates with glass panels so hanging locks on the bridge will be impossible. But since we all know that Tesla (the band, not the inventor) once proclaimed that love will find a way, let’s figure out how to continue defacing a historic bridge with our silly tourist love traditions.

Maybe carving your initials into the glass like it was a tree in the 1950s or maybe by swinging yourself over the river by using this lamppost. Or come up with your own idea. It’ll be fun.

To me, though, the following photo is the most egregious insult by the people of Paris who don’t want people visiting Paris to think that the people of Paris condone tourists who make the most important locations of Paris look so stupidly American.

[Placeholder for https://www.facebook.com/NoLoveLocks/posts/295061350617755:0 embed.]

See that? The letter posted on the bridge is in English, and I think we all know what this means. Paris doesn’t want English speakers—Americans, most likely—to profess their love in the City of Love. This is an outrage, and to me, only one response is necessary to combat this insult. Bring back Freedom Fries.

Photo via JD/Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

Share this article
*First Published: May 29, 2015, 8:50 pm CDT