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Paris bridge damaged by weight of ‘love padlocks’

Lovers have been attacking padlocks to the historic bridge since 2008. Picture: Getty

Lovers have been attacking padlocks to the historic bridge since 2008. Picture: Getty

  • by IAN SPARKES
 

A historic Paris bridge has partly collapsed under the weight of thousands of padlocks attached by couples as symbols of love.

The Pont des Arts over the River Seine was evacuated on Sunday after railings buckled under the weight of the ‘love locks’ which line the 150 metre bridge.

Architects believe others parts of the iron and wood structure could break away and fall into the river if the locks are not removed.

Lovers have been attaching padlocks to the Pont des Arts since 2008, and now cover the entire railings on the pedestrian crossing between the Louvre museum and the Left Bank.

Hundreds of locks are removed by city workmen every week, and are immediately replaced by more locks.

Two young Americans living in Paris have collected thousands of signatures on a petition launched in March calling for the padlocks to be removed on all Paris bridges as they are an eyesore and damage the structures.

Local officials fear parts of the bridges could fall onto boats passing underneath it.

Love locks are believed to have first appeared in the Serbian town of Vrnjacka Banja in the early 20th century and have since spread to cities all over the world.

 

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