Part of Paris bridge collapses under weight of 'love locks' left by tourists
A section of the metal mesh on the Pont des Arts footbridge over the Seine in Paris collapsed last night under the weight of the thousands of "love-locks"
There is such a thing as too much love.
A section of the metal mesh on the Pont des Arts footbridge over the Seine in Paris collapsed last night under the weight of the thousands of "love-locks" attached to the bridge by couples.
The bridge was immediately closed to the public and was under repair today. It is expected to re-open tomorrow.
A five feet long section of metal mesh fell inwards onto the bridge itself. Officials said that the design of the bridge made it impossible for debris to fall onto pleasure boats and barges on the river Seine.
All the same, the incident seems certain to intensify the arguments which have raged for several months on the safety - and alleged ugliness - of the 700,000 padlocks which have covered the Pont des Arts and other Seine footbridges over the last six years.
The practice is believed to have started in Russia but has spread all over the world. It is especially common in Paris, the city of lovers.
Couples from all over the world declare their undying affection for one another by placing their initials on a padlock, fastening it to a bridge and throwing the key into the river.
In Paris, the craze began in 2008 on the Pont des Arts, which spans the 150metres between the Tuileries gardens and the Musee d'Orsay. It has since spread to all footbridges across the Seine.
Two young Americans living in Paris started a petition in March calling for the locks to be removed because they were ugly and could damage the bridges.
An internet rumour began in April suggesting that the Pont des Arts, festooned with locks weighing an estimated 40 tons, was threatened with collapse.
Paris town hall said that the rumour had begun when a section of the metal grill covering the bridge parapets was replaced as part of routine repairs.
- 1 Scottish independence: Ireland since 1919 is a lesson for Scotland in what a Yes vote means
- 2 Thailand deaths: Pair's bloodied bodies found naked on Koh Tao beach
- 3 Lego breaks out of the toy box and heads for the gallery
- 4 Julian Assange and Edward Snowden join piracy mogul Kim Dotcom’s political campaign in New Zealand
Thailand deaths: Pair's bloodied bodies found naked on Koh Tao beach
Jihadi John': MI5 may have identified Isis militant who killed David Haines but options limited
Russia freezes Ukraine into submission: Kiev admits country doesn't have enough fuel for winter
Scottish independence: Police will be on high alert on Friday whatever the result
David Haines beheading: David Cameron says Britain will hunt down Isis 'monsters' shown in video murdering aid worker
Daniele Watts: Django Unchained actress detained by Los Angeles police after being mistaken for a prostitute
The political class is doing what Hitler couldn’t – destroying Britain
Scottish independence: Nationalist leader Jim Sillars threatens pro-union companies with 'day of reckoning' after independence
Scottish independence: Yes campaign feels the heat as Alex Salmond's NHS claims come under furious attack
£23m Birmingham cycle scheme is attacked by Tory councillor for not catering to the elderly
Salmond accused of laughing off national debt with ‘what are they going to do: invade?’ joke
£45000 Per Annum: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Our client based in Chelmsf...
£25000 - £30000 Per Annum: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Our client are cur...
£23500 - £40000 per annum: Randstad Education Plymouth: Randstad Education Ltd...
£60000 - £80000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Corporate Marketing Communications M...