Last updated: 06:10 PM ET, Sun May 31 2015

Paris Banning, Removing 'Love Locks'

Impacting Travel | Michael Isenbek | May 31, 2015

Paris Banning, Removing 'Love Locks'

Image via Twitter

A Parisian tradition for tourists is no more. Since 2008, visitors have been latching locks emblazoned with affectionate messages onto Pont des Arts — some even tossing the keys into the Seine River below to make their sentiments even more official. The city of Paris will begin removing the padlocks from the bridge that was built under Napoleon in the 1800s starting Monday, CNN reported.

Accepted at first, the Love Lock situation quickly ballooned out of control, with the pedestrian walkway straining under the weight of some 700,000 locks, estimated by CNN to be equal to 20 elephants.

Sections of fencing on the promenade began crumbling, and with Pont des Arts flush with locks, the tradition spread to other bridges in the area.

The Paris City Council said on its website, according to CNN, the two major concerns created by these situations were, "degradation of property heritage and a risk to the safety of visitors, Parisians and tourists."

Graffiti, pickpockets and sellers of cheap padlocks began showing up, leading to locals avoiding the bridge, which offers a pleasant vista of the City of Lights.

CNN said the city tried to halt love locks in August 2014 encouraging visitors to take selfies on the bridge instead. Unattractive wooden panels were placed over the locks around Valentine's Day, when there was sure to be a surge of Love Lock activity.

Signs near the bridge said it would be closed for a week during the lock removal process. After that there will be what is being called a temporary "artistic intervention" until autumn, when permanent, protective glass panels will be installed.

A citizens group called "No Love Locks," has been asserting the same sentiments as the city regarding the bridge’s historic status, and safety threat. They had called for Paris to ban Love Locks as spring tourist season approached. No Love Locks lambasts brands on social media for featuring the bridge in ads.

Tourists may be upset by the missed chance to attach a Love Lock, but Parisians seem to be glad to be done with this recent trend.

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