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No more love locks Paris begs couples

Authorities in capital urge romantic couples visiting the city to swap their love locks for a selfie

12 August 2014

PARIS has appealed to couples wanting to demonstrate their undying love during a romantic trip to the city: don’t fix a love lock to a bridge - take a loved-up selfie instead.

Red heart-shaped notices in English, Spanish and French have appeared on bridges - including the famous Pont des Arts - encouraging lovers to take a selfie and upload them to the website, lovewithoutlocks.paris.fr, or tweet them with the hashtag #lovewithoutlocks.

“Our bridges can no longer withstand your gestures of love, no more love locks,” the notices read.

In May, mayor Anne Hidalgo asked the city’s culture secretary to come up with an alternative to the love lock craze that began in 2008. Since then, many thousands of couples from all over the world have sealed their love to the Pont des Arts by attaching a padlock with their names on it to the railings and throwing the key into the River Seine.

The fad has spread to other bridges and structures in the city. Forty lovelocks were removed from the Eiffel Tower earlier this year.

But too much love has proved to be a dangerous thing. In June, police evacuated tourists from the Pont des Arts after a section of the footbridge collapsed under the weight of the locks, which now cover the length of the 155m bridge.

The selfie scheme is “the first step in a wider action plan ... to tell people that love locks are not good for Paris's cultural heritage and that it's not an ideal way to symbolise love," a city official told AFP.

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