PARIS (PIX11) - Famed Parisian bridge Pont des Arts partly collapsed Sunday under the weight of the “love locks” attached to it by visiting couples.
Lovers visiting the bridge will secure the padlock and hurl the key into the Seine River — symbolizing the permanence of their devotion, according to BFM-TV.
Locks cover the railing across the span so completely that the framework they are attached to can no longer be seen. It’s unclear what the combined weight is, but the abundance of padlocks caused an 8-foot section of the railing to buckle Sunday.
Police evacuated the bridge and placed barriers at the entrances to stop the love-struck sweethearts from adding any more weight to the crippled structure.
The romantic tradition showed up in New York City in 2010, when lovebirds flocked to spans like the Brooklyn Bridge. The city, however, didn’t appreciate the trend and promptly cut off the locks. The practice is also new in Paris, the large numbers of locks began turning up in 2008.
A campaign to outlaw the weighty symbols of affection already has nearly 8,000 signatures after an American couple became fed up with the locks. They cited the “structural and environmental damage” caused to the historic Parisian bridges.