Pedestrians had to evacuate Paris’ Pont des Arts, the “locks of love” footbridge, when nearly eight feet of railing collapsed due to the heavy weight of 700,000 locks Sunday evening, according to Agence France-Presse.
Police were quick to rush visitors off the bridge, which crosses the Seine. They installed a barrier to prevent further damage.
Officials told AFP that the bridge would be re-opened Monday.
Tradition holds that couples who attach a lock with their names to the railing and throw the key in the Seine river will find everlasting love.
However, some residents had a bone to pick with the hundreds of thousands of locks weighing down the bridge. The No Love Locks campaign that launched in February included a petition with close to 8,000 signatures asking the Mayor to remove the locks due to “degradation” and potential damage.
According to The Guardian, city officials were aware of the concerns, but were slow to take action because of the locks’ popularity with tourists visiting the city. Authorities do keep an eye on the structural integrity of the bridges due to the significant weight of the locks.
The locks began appearing in 2008 and were copied from a widespread tradition found in countries like Italy and Germany. They have spread to all bridges across the Seine.
No reports if there has been any love lost between the owners of the fallen locks. Next time, maybe they should stick to carving their initials into a tree.
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