Un cadenas

photo by National Geographic

photo by National Geographic

If you were planning a trip to Paris to memorialize your eternal love by attaching a lock, or un cadenas (uhn kad-ah-nay), to the Pont des Arts, you are too late. The city has had it with what many consider visual pollution and a safety hazard. In case you’re unfamiliar with this tradition, for several years now, people have written their names on locks, attached them to the grille-work of the bridge, and thrown away the keys. It seems charming and harmless, but lock after lock, the weight has become dangerous. Last year, part of the Pont des Arts grille was peeled off like a banana skin. So, on June 1, workers began removing what is estimated to be one million locks weighing 45 tons.

imageHow will they keep them from being reattached by every Romeo and Juliet who visits Paris? The metal grill will be replaced with glass panels. Asking nicely hadn’t worked. City officials had been imploring lovers to post a selfie on-line instead of attaching a lock to no avail. Some Americans living in Paris even started a “No Love Locks” campaign. Where did this trend come from? An Italian teen novel published in 2006 featured Roman lovers swearing eternal love by attaching a lock to a bridge and throwing the keys in the Tiber. Since then, the trend has popped up in cities around the world, but nowhere the way that it took off in Paris. Ah Paris, the City of Lights, the City of Love, but no longer the City of Locks.

51TSP6+AxaL._SL75_Love in Paris

About Patricia Gilbert

Patricia Gilbert is a French teacher. She's Canadian, lives in the United States, but dreams of living in France. Follow her on Instagram @Onequalitythefinest and on Twitter @1qualthefinest.
This entry was posted in Travel and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s