Seal love with selfies not locks, Paris begs tourists
Wednesday, August 13, 2014 - 01:28
Paris authorities call upon tourists to stop placing padlocks on the city's bridges to prevent the barriers from collapsing, instead encouraging them to take selfies. Roselle Chen reports.
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The railings of several Paris bridges have almost all disappeared behind thousands of padlocks.
The romantic tradition, which can also been seen in other cities around the world, began in the French capital more than five years ago.
The locks symbolize enduring love and are often inscribed with couples' names.
Lovers place the padlocks on the bridge and then typically throw the key into the river.
But many don't realize that their public display of love is ruining the structural integrity of the bridges.
Paris authorities inspect and replace twisted panels made unsafe by the weight of the locks, but there are simply too many locks and not enough manpower.
Vanessa Panetto, is head of the Paris town hall activities unit:
SOUNDBITE: Vanessa Panetto, head of Paris town hall activities unit, saying (French):
"It could cause a barrier to collapse, and harm a boat passing under the bridge or a pedestrian walking on the sidewalk, so in fact it's dangerous, and beyond the fact it destroys Paris' heritage and destroys the bridge, it also is dangerous for the visitors to Paris."
Heart-shaped stickers have been placed on bridges to deter couples from sealing their love with heavy metal, encouraging them to instead take a lighter, and more likely everlasting, selfie.
The Pont des Arts footbridge over the Seine was closed for a few hours in June after a metal grill laden with padlocks collapsed onto the walkway.
Luckily, no one was hurt.
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