LOVE padlocks on the Pont des Arts in Paris are safe - for now, at least.
Rumours began circulating on Twitter yesterday that city authorities were implementing a new policy banning the romantic symbols after municipal employees started removing padlocks from the “lovers’ bridge”.
Images of sections of the bride guard rails being removed quickly went viral on the social media site.
But, the mayor’s office told France Info that the guard rails were being replaced as part of routine work to keep the bridge safe for users and river travellers on the Seine below.
The mayor’s office said that the guard rails were being replaced because the weight of the thousands of padlocks was making them unsafe - not because of any ban.
It was not long before more love padlocks started to appear on the replacement railings.
The latest social media stir about love padlocks has reignited the debate about whether the love locks are an eyesore.
The online Ban Love Padlocks In Paris! petition has collected 4,500 signatures, and the group No Love Locks wrote to all mayoral candidates before the elections.
Former mayor of Paris, Bertrand Delanoë, had been a supporter of freedom of expression for love. The new mayor, Anne Hidalgo’s opinion on them is, as yet, not known.