Unless you have been living under a rock (or should that be a bridge?) you are most likely to have come across the famous Paris ‘love locks’. As a sign of their undying love and commitment to each other couples – mainly tourists – visiting the ‘City of Love’ would lock padlocks to the historic pedestrian bridge, Pont des Arts.
Sadly, last year parts of the fence on the Pont des Arts bridge began collapsing into the Seine River below, forcing authorities in Paris to make the cutthroat call to put a stop to the practice. During the summer of 2015, city officials began removing the offending locks; a job with a future as it turns out. To date they have removed approximately one million locks, equal to 65 tonnes of scrap metal.
While this action may seem somewhat brutal, thankfully this saga is one with a happy ending. Authorities in Paris will auction off 10 tonnes of love locks, giving the proceeds to groups working with refugees. This seems to be an entirely appropriate solution to assist with the refugee crisis in the French capital, which has seen thousands of migrants in the city with nowhere to go forcing them to sleep on the streets.
Bruno Julliard, First Deputy Mayor of Paris, explains “members of the public can buy five or 10 locks, or even clusters of them, all at an affordable price. He added, “all of the proceeds will be given to those who work in support and in solidarity of the refugees in Paris.”
With the aim to raise around 100,000 euros through the auction initiative, anything that isn’t sold will be melted and sold as scrap. If you’d like to buy your own piece of someone’s undying love, the auction will be held early this year.
Turns out you can put a price on love after all.
What do you think about this plan for Paris’ love locks? Good cause, or is this a bit brutal?