France, Paris (BBN)-Paris city officials have started to remove padlocks symbolically fastened to one of the French capital’s main bridges by loved-up couples.
Tying a “love lock” on to the Pont des Arts before throwing the key into the River Seine beneath has become a tourist tradition in recent years, reports BBC.
But part of the bridge’s railings collapsed under the weight last year.
Close to one million locks – weighing 45 tonnes – are due to be cut off over the next few days.
Workmen began removing grilles from the side of the Pont des Arts early on Monday morning.
The Pont de l’Archeveche, near the Notre Dame cathedral, is also having locks removed from its side.
City municipal employees remove iron grills covered with “lovelocks” on the Pont des Arts which crosses over the River Seine in Paris, France, June 1, 2015
Metal grilles on the side of the Pont des Arts, which dates from 1804, will be replaced by panels painted by street artists over the summer, before transparent panels are put in place later this year.
“It’s the end of the padlocks,” said Bruno Julliard, Paris deputy mayor.
“They spoil the aesthetics of the bridge, are structurally bad for it and can cause accidents.”
This Wednesday April 16, 2014 file photo shows a newly wed couple resting on the Pont des Arts in Paris, France
Cathy Hominage, an American tourist, told the Reuters news agency: “We came with the idea of putting a lock but we found out it’s closed and illegal now.
“We are just going to put it here at the very end of the bridge so no one can see.”
A campaign by the city last year to get people to take selfies instead of attaching locks was not successful.
Venice has also struggled to deter tourists from attaching locks to the Rialto bridge, and in New York, amateur locksmiths launched a campaign to remove locks from the Brooklyn Bridge.