Paris Officials Ask Tourists to Ditch the ‘Love Locks’ and Take a Selfie Instead


Ever since 2008, lovers from around the world — about half of whom, statistically speaking, have probably broken up by now… — have pledged their eternal love to each other by attaching a lock to the Pont des Arts bridge and throwing the key in the Seine.

It’s sweet. It’s romantic. It’s symbolic. Unfortunately, it’s also starting to put an unacceptable strain on the bridge, and so Parisian officials are launching a campaign that seeks to replace love locks with a fleeting 21st century alternative: the selfie.

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Speaking with the AFP, a city hall official told the agency that they will begin a campaign to stop the locks, offering selfies and a hashtag as an alternative.

Starting this Wednesday, red heart-shaped notices in English, Spanish and French will go up on the bridge asking lock-toting lovers to keep that lock in their pocket and instead, upload a selfie to or to tweet it with the hashtag #lovewithoutlocks.

Of course, whether or not people will respect the notices and accept this very fleeting alternative to a very concrete gesture of love is yet to be seen, but this is only the beginning of what the official called “a wider campaign.”

(via Yahoo! News)

Image credits: Photograph by Ken & Nyetta

  • Jason Yuen

    As cool as the love locks are, it would be even cooler if the French government stepped up their game by building a new bridge with the locks in mind. One that is designed to support much more weight. I’d hate to see people get injured or killed because a bridge symbolizing love collapses and kills people.

  • OtterMatt

    Though there would be a certain ironic sympathy with most of those symbolized relationship’s current statuses if that occurred.

  • Renato Murakami

    Hard sell… the keyword there is symbolism. How could a selfie ever hope to replace a lock in those terms?
    Perhaps it’d be better if paris officials asked broken couples to go to those bridges and remove the locks instead of revenge porn or something. :P

  • docholliday666

    …and then there’s the weird little town of Lovelock, Nevada…

  • Mike

    The French government already “stepped up its game” in 1981 when it ordered the replacement of the structurally damaged original 200-year-old Pont des Arts bridge (built in the early 1800s) with the current bridge. Are you saying that after only 30 years they should just replace the entire relatively new modern bridge again just because of a fad inspired by a movie?

    It seems more practical to discourage the padlock practice until it runs its course.

  • MarkKalan

    this passion has also contaminated the Brooklyn Bridge…although recently the NYC gov’t periodically removes them.

  • Jason Yuen

    You are right about the education and waste from the keys and rust. But I never said replace the bridge. I said it would be smart to capitalize on the potential revenue it can bring through tourism as well as bring intangible benefits of an appropriate response to the situation, especially given the publicity it has recently garnered. If something along the lines of a new bridge were built, you can bet there will be other “improvements” and revenue generating features added in.

  • David Vaughn

    Revenge porn is a terrible thing, but I will never not find those two words side-by-side not funny. Heh. :P

  • Funciona?

    Alex Full on that bridge. Chun Li broke my heart.

  • Gsmith

    Paris is already the most visited city in the world, and i’d say 99.9999% of the tourists don’t go to put locks on the bridge, so I don’t think the cost of the bridge vs. the 30 people a year that come would quite work out, economically speaking.

  • Jordan Butters

    Ah Bob, you seem like a fun guy.

  • Stephanie Yates

    These locks are also on the Brooklyn Bridge, but since the city has workers cut them off (novel idea), they’re not as big of a problem.