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Jun 10 2014

Locks of Love

Category: Locks & Keys,NewsLori @ 12:05 am Comments (11)

Love locks are padlocks which are attached by couples to bridges, fences, gates, and other structures around the world, and the keys are often cast into the river to signify everlasting love.  But now these little locks are causing big problems:


More on Love Locks:

Are love locks on bridges romantic or a menace? – BBC News

Love locks are so despised by some people that two friends living in Paris – Lisa Taylor Huff and Lisa Anselmo – started a campaign called No Love Locks in January.

“The delicate Pont des Arts has become a freakish glut of indistinguishable metal lumps, and worse, is now in mortal danger,” Lisa Anselmo wrote.

They say the City of Love has turned into the City of Locks, and have counted at least eight bridges over the Seine and three over the Canal Saint Martin where padlocks have spread “like fungus”.


City wants love-struck visitors to stop attaching locks to Brooklyn Bridge – New York Daily News

The Transportation Dept., which monitors New York City’s bridges, is calling for a lockdown on the romantic “love lock” ritual, claiming maintenance crews removed a whopping 5,600 of the latches from the 5,989-foot span since July.

But the new bid to shut down the ritual wasn’t discouraging smitten tourists from expressing their love Tuesday with colorful clasps, which don names of lovers and the date.

11 Responses to “Locks of Love”

  1. Safecrackin Sammy says:

    In a way its vandalism but never get in the way of Cupids arrow.

    I look at it as a fantastic opportunity for local lock picking clubs of which there are many, to have one heck of a contest! First one to the other end WINS!

    And I see a lot of brass and steel so there is both money to be made and recyclables!

  2. Jess says:

    I would say similar to what SAfecrackin Sammy says, hold a contest or a few days out of the year where its OK to pick the locks and remove them,

    you would be surprised how many people are into collecting locks or finding a lock that is out there that they want to try their handy skills on in a legal manner or cannot afford the lock they want to pick (ASSA or Abloy’s offerings of euro locks) or hold a pick-it-to-win/keep-it type of event/contest

    that way it feeds both types of people, collectors and the hobby/pro pickers alike,

    I wonder if it’s possible that you or we (or you Safecrakin Sammy) to suggest such an event to the authorities of Paris and wherever there is a place the locks are looking like a bad case of hoarding. (bridges, Gates, fences,

    -Jess the door closer doctor

  3. Jim Hooker says:

    I saw these on a recent “urban” hike across the Brooklyn Bridge. I had no idea (I am so culturally relevant…) what it was about. Do these cities not have bolt cutters? It’s not like any of these idealistic, idiotic, romantics are spending the money to buy stainless steel or exotic material shackles.

  4. Diana Morton says:

    Great idea Safecrackin Sammy. Turn an eyesore into a fun creative contest. It could be a yearly event…. see who’s lock holds the love so well it can’t be picked! 🙂

  5. David Barbaree says:

    I like Sammy’s idea too!

    It’s kind of aggravating, in a way, that people look at things like this as romantic. Someone started littering and people think, “Oh, how sweet!” There’s no romance for the bridge designer, or the builder, or the poor guys who have to maintain it and clean it up. Maybe it’s romantic to take a sharpie to some work of art in one of their museums as long as it’s an expression of how I feel about my girl.
    I’m thinking I might try to find a way to make her smile that doesn’t make someone else cry.

    • Lisa Anselmo says:

      David, you’re singing our tune. Have you signed our petition? The link is in this article. At No Love Locks, we’re looking for people who might give us a statement we can quote on our site along the lines of what you are saying here so we can educate tourists on responsible tourism. If you are interested, shoot us an email via our site’s “About” page and reference this blog.

  6. Lisa Anselmo says:

    So glad to see so many sensible people out there. David Barnabee, everything you said is spot on. Just because it’s in the name of “love” doesn’t make it okay to vandalize people’s heritage and history. Lot’s of good ideas here, as long as the city condones it. While No Love Locks doesn’t condone people taking it upon themselves to remove the locks, we are pushing city govs around the world to do so, and follow New York City’s example. Although we did see some guys on the Pont des Arts picnicking and picking locks as they did. A lock pick picnic, if you will. But when you have nearly 1 million locks across the city, such as is the case in Paris, there’s no way to really pick locks one-by-one. The city has to remove whole panels at great expense to taxpayers. The panel that fell down a few weeks ago weighed over 1500 lbs (700 kilos)! —Lisa Anselmo of No Love Locks

  7. AdamSky says:

    If it’s actually causing structural damage to bridges, ban the practice. Give people a couple of months to remove their locks (if they’ve still got the key). Then cut them all off, dredge up the keys, and recycle the metal into a lovely romantic statue. Cut off any more that appear after the ban date and sell the metal for city funds.

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