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Paris Love Lockdown

My heart to you is given,

Oh, do give yours to me.

We’ll lock them up together,

And throw away the key.

(Frederick Saunders)

In 2015, the railings on a number of Paris bridges were removed. These railings were home to thousands of locks, emblazoned with the initials of lovers from all over the world. It’s one of those “things” you did when you went to Paris. But under the weight of all this love, the stone and concrete bridges on the Left Bank were crumbling. So the love-laden railings were replaced with new lock-proof ones, and the bridges underwent repairs.

There was an uproar about their removal, and in protest, locals and tourists tried to keep the tradition going. It seems the new railings had a design flaw where locks could be affixed to a small latch, and sure enough they were! The city responded quickly by removing these latest locks and the latch. So the locks started appearing on the beautiful light posts along the bridges. Down they would come, but the locks would appear again!

Of late, the love-locking seems to have relocated to a bridge further down the Seine, Passerelle Léopold-Sédar-Senghor – the bridge linking the Musée D’Orsay to the Tuileries Gardens. This metal and wood bridge has been replaced twice in the last 50 years for various reasons, so will it be able to withstand the weight of the love of the world?!

Capturing a moment in history from a 2011 family photo, the locks on the Pont de l’Archevêché near Notre Dame in Mini #85:

#85 – Paris Love Locks

2.5″ x 3.5″, ink and watercolour

Available at local art events or online at my Etsy Shop, ArtWeWonderful

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