Love Locks: Romantic or Tacky?

The love lock bridge in Paris went down. Kapoot. Gone. It just collapsed.

Okay, it was just a five foot piece but still, it seems it’s all our fault.

Photo: Euronews

At least it didn’t fall into the river. Photo: Euronews


I visit le Pont des Arts each time I’m in Paris. I find tranquility here and a sense of “here and now”. Maybe it’s the peacefulness of staring blankly into the Seine. Maybe it’s the quintessential Parisian life I like to watch pass me by. It makes me wonder every time if this city was supposed to be my birthplace.

Or maybe it’s the epitome of extreme romance in Paris. Where countless proposals, romantic first kisses, and new couples seal their fate.

More than 1600 love locks are chained and tangled to this iron bridge. The unbreakable bond of the padlocks is supposed to symbolize the unbreakable bond of each and every couple that walked through here.

When I travel with my boyfriend, a padlock is always packed in our suitcase. So far, we’ve locked them in Barcelona, Lisbon, Prague, and Madrid. We have an understanding most people find not normal.  I don’t buy him gifts. He doesn’t shower me with flowers. Instead, we chain our love to bridges around the world. And yes, Paris too. Which is why I feel partially responsible for the fate of le Pont des Arts. We are just one of many couples who have passed through the City of Love to lock our fate.

Paris love lock bridge

So many symbols of love in one place


But dear couple travellers, it seems we have to unlock our love. It has no place on le Pont des Arts. It seems Paris is no longer the City of Love.

There are people out there who call this bridge less than pretty. Tacky and vandal. Two bloggers have actually started a petition. They’re fighting to ban love locks for good and have started a “No Love Locks” campaign.

Sure, locking padlocks, sealing and throwing away the key may not be eco-friendly. The Seine River has been polluted with thousands of metal keys dumped from the bridge since 2008. And maybe the tourist traffic really has attracted more graffiti over the years. Sometimes the rust on the bridge can be less than appealing.

I won’t link to it but if you really want to sign the petition, it’s

Photo: Frenchnewsonline

Photo: Frenchnewsonline


I refuse to sign my name. Maybe we could just stop dumping our keys into the river? Maybe we should nail graffiti culprits instead, not romantic couples in love?

I don’t see this bridge as tacky. I see it as a bridge with thousands of scribbled, mangled, rusty, weathered, locks. But each comes with its own tale. Each with its own Romeo and Juliet story.

Maybe all we need is to restore Parisians’ faith in love?

Do you think love locks are

romantic or tacky?