Padlocks on Paris’s bridges–where lovestruck couples often attach ‘love locks’ symbolising their undying love– will be sold off to raise funds for refugees say authorities. Bruno Julliard, first deputy mayor of Paris, said, “Members of the public can buy five or 10 locks, or even clusters of them, all at an affordable price.
“All of the proceeds will be given to those who work in support and in solidarity of the refugees in Paris.”
10 tonnes of these locks will be sold to the public; the remaining will be melted down as sold as scrap. All the proceeds will go to refugee groups. Authorities hope to raise €100,000 (INR 72 lakh approx.) for the humanitarian cause.
Since 2008, lovers have been attaching locks to many of Paris’s bridges with some even throwing the key into the Seine River below. The most famous of them all– the Pont des Arts bridge–carries more than 700,000 locks. There are more than one million locks on more than 11 bridges and landmarks in Paris and it has become a popular tourist tradition. However, the combined weight of the locks has led to sections of fencing on the Pont des Arts crumbling under the added stress.
No Love Locks, an advocacy group, has been urging the city council to ban this practice. In 2015, the City Council had urged visitors to refrain from chaining padlocks to bridges and have started to remove some locks. The large amount of locks had led “degradation of property heritage and a risk to the safety of visitors, Parisians and tourists,” the Paris City Council had said.