Paris is getting fed up couples placing padlocks on the Pont des Arts railing and tossing the keys into the river to demonstrate their undying love for each other. Romance is great and all, but the locks accumulated over the years until they weighed in at 45 tons and caused the bridge to collapse in June. The bridge had to be evacuated and closed. When the Pont des Arts became so covered in locks that there was no more space, couples moved their antics to other bridges and even started to put locks on the Eiffel Tower. French ecologists are starting to get really worried about the pollution effects of all those nasty keys that were thrown into the river.
According to the Guardian, the city government doesn’t want “to become repressive” by punishing all the shmoopy lovers who continue leaving locks. Instead, the city is trying to nudge tourists to take selfies instead with a cutesy awareness campaign. Posters will go up hinting for couples to post selfies to Twitter with the hashtag #lovewithoutlocks. That sounds about as unromantic as it gets, but there seems to be little we humans love more than taking pictures of ourselves, so it seems like a plausible idea in theory. The padlock trend, which I’d figured was a really old tradition, has only been around since 2008 and is thought to have begun in Italy and eastern Europe. Campaigners see the locks as vandalism and is continuing to push for them to be totally banned. The real question here is what’s more important — the two teenagers on a summer fling who want to commemorate their “forever love” or preserving centuries-old architecture? (I swear I’m not really that bitter, just trying to create some perspective!) [Guardian UK, Beta Beat] [Image via Shutterstock]