Travel

Paris's famous bridge partially collapses under weight of "love locks"

In his 2008 track,"Love Lockdown", Kanye West sings, "I can't keep myself, and still keep you too". On Sunday, life imitated Kanye's art, as Paris's most famous "love locks" bridge couldn't keep itself together for the love locks, with the structure partially collapsing under their weight.

AFP reports an 8-foot (2.4-meter) stretch of railing on Paris's Pont des Arts couldn't keep its cool (more Ye), buckling from stress caused by the tokens of affection around 6 pm Sunday. Police weren't wastin' time (more Ye), immediately evacuating the bridge, though according to France 24, no one was injured and the structure was scheduled to reopen Monday.

Thousands of tourists flock every year to the scenic Pont des Arts, which connects the two banks of the famous Seine River near the Louvre museum.

The "love locks" craze spread to the Pont des Arts in 2008 after taking off in Germany, Russia, China, and Italy. As a symbol of securing love, the practice involves affixing a padlock inscribed with two lovers' names to the bridge railing, then tossing the key into the Seine.

Recently, however, the practice has become problematic for the City of Light. France 24 notes the locks have spread to other bridges in Paris, and 40 locks were recently removed from the Eiffel Tower.

The city government also pointed to the potential danger zone (more Ye) as far back as 2010, saying "sections of the railings are becoming weakened under the weight and sections of the grates require regular replacement". 

Additionally, some residents are asking "How many times did I tell ya fo it finally got through?" (more Ye), calling the locks an eyesore on the Pont des Arts, which is listed as a historic monument. Petitions to ban the practice have spread on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, according to The Guardian.

Paris's Pont des Arts: You lose. You lose.


Ryan Craggs is Thrillist's Travel Editor. He has not kept his love locked down, but does use a Master lock at the gym. Follow him @ryanrcraggs.