'Love locks' cause partial bridge collapse
Paris’ Pont des Arts footbridge is evacuated after a metal grill laden with padlocks left by amorous couples collapsed onto the walkway.PT1M2S http://www.canberratimes.com.au/action/externalEmbeddedPlayer?id=d-39u9f 620 349 June 10, 2014
Paris: Sometimes too much love can be a bad thing - as Paris discovered when thousands of "locks of love" attached to a footbridge caused part of a railing to collapse.
Thousands of lovers from across the world visit the Pont des Arts every year and seal their love by attaching a padlock carrying their names to its railing and throwing the key in the Seine.
But police were forced to hurriedly usher visitors off the footbridge in central Paris early on Sunday evening after 2.4 metres of railing collapsed under the weight of the collected love tokens.
Part of the famous footbridge's railing has collapsed under the weight of the collected love tokens. Photo: Getty Images
"The bridge was immediately evacuated and closed," local police said.
An architect and local officials rushed to the site and a barrier was put up to stop further access.
The Pont des Arts crosses the Seine just in front of the Louvre museum and is known the world over for its "locks of love". It recently featured in an episode of the SBS cookery show Luke Nguyen's France.
The phenomenon has become something of a headache for officials in the City of Light, who would prefer something that poses fewer problems of security and aesthetics.
Two young Americans living in Paris have gathered thousands of signatures for a petition they launched in March calling for the locks to be removed, saying they are eyesores and cause damage to the bridges.
The locks only appeared on the Pont des Arts in 2008, having already become a craze in Germany, Russia, China and particularly Italy.
Now the full 150-metre length of the footbridge is covered in the locks, and the custom has spread to other bridges around the capital.
Forty locks were recently removed from the Eiffel Tower.