Too Much Love?
It was just March that we were talking about this — the Love Locks of Paris (see http://www.adrianleeds.com/parler-nice/archive/).
You may recall that two Americans, Lisa Anselmo and Lisa Taylor Huff, started a campaign called “NO LOVELOCKS” via a blog supporting the cause to stop the damage being done to the bridges of Paris. The blog and the two Lisas’ got all sorts of media attention, but not enough attention from City Hall (so they say).
Then, what the two Lisas predicted would happen, happened! The Pont des Arts collapsed.
“Tourists were evacuated from the Pont des Arts footbridge in central Paris over the weekend, after more than two meters of railing collapsed, crumbling under the weight of a thousand so-called ‘love locks.'” (Source: http://www.france24.com/en/)
No one was hurt, thank goodness, but the expression of love has turned ugly and dangerous. A plank of wood used to replace the grill has already had a number of names written on it in the absence of space for more locks.
Pont des Arts isn’t the only bridge to be locked up. In fact, not only has the tradition spread to other bridges in Paris and even the Eiffel Tower, but locations are spreading worldwide — it’s an epidemic! Maybe this is a wake-up call to lovers everywhere to find another way to express their love!
Lisa Anselmo sent Parler Paris some quotes from “No Love Locks” she wanted to share with all of us, as well as some facts you might find interesting:
QUOTES FROM NO LOVE LOCKS:
No Love Locks is so grateful no one was hurt during this latest collapse on the Pont des Arts, but we are also painfully aware that this is result of inaction on the part of City Hall for far too long, and was inevitable, especially with the surge of tourist season. How much more has to happen before the city finally stops this mania? Are they waiting for tragedy?
[Mayor Anne] Hidalgo was on the right track assigning this issue officially to Bruno Julliard, but so far we have seen no signs that City Hall intends to remove the locks or impose a ban. Without swift and decisive action, this problem will only get worse. Over 11 bridges are now affected, as well as the foot bridges over Canal St. Martin, bridges in Parc Butte Chaumont, fencing in Parc Monceau and the Eiffel Tower.
The area along the Seine is a UNESCO World Heritage site. If the city does not take care to preserve this area, Paris could lose this coveted designation. We have reached out to UNESCO about this issue.
It can never be okay to vandalize the heritage of people. Not in the name of love or for any reason. These historic sites are precious, and once degraded to the point of no return, that is forever. Which is more than we can say for most of those relationships represented by a lock.
People should know the panels on the Pont des Arts collapse routinely. Usually, they are caught before they fall completely, and replaced. This is not the first panel to fall, and it will not be the last.
FACTS FROM LISA:
It takes only three weeks for a new panel to be completely filled with locks.
People are putting locks on the outside of the bridges, adding to the weight and putting their lives in danger in the process.
New York City is also affected on the Brooklyn Bridge. New York is cutting the locks, taking the hard line that “national landmarks cannot be altered,” also citing that the locks pose a potential hazard to cars passing underneath the pedestrian walkway. Other cities should follow this example.
The panel that fell reportedly weighed 700 kilos (1,543 pounds)
For the first time the Police Nationale (via a representative) made a public statement citing the potential danger of the locks on the bridges: “A metal grill had fallen inwards, rather than into the river. If it had landed on a passing boat, the results could have been disastrous.” (Source: Daily Mail)
We support the two Lisas’ campaign to stop the love locks. Surely we can find a way to better express our love than damaging our precious bridges and monuments! If you agree, visit No Love Locks to show your support and subscribe to the blog as well as sign their petition on Change.Org.
A la prochaine…
Director of The Adrian Leeds Group, LLC
P.S. Be sure to read all about yesterday’s Parler Paris Après Midi with artist Catharine Cary! Visit Parler Paris Après Midi and plan on attending next month when Gerri Chanel talks about “Saving Mona Lisa: The Battle to Protect the Louvre and its Treasures During World War II.”
P.P.S. If you’ll be staying in any of our luxurious Parler Paris Apartments or Parler Nice Apartments and want to purchase your own “pied-à-terre” be sure to book your FREE one-hour consultation with me. Simply fill out our Consultation Request Form and we’ll schedule a meeting in person or by phone/Skype.