Days after Melbourne removed thousands of padlocks from a city footbridge, Paris has taken the same safety precaution.
For years, lovers have attached locks to the iconic Pont des Arts bridge in front of the Louvre, and to its lesser known cousin, an unnamed bridge on Southbank, to symbolise their bond to each other.
Officials in both cities were worried about structural damage caused by the combined weight of the extra metal, forcing them to make the unpopular decision.
Earlier in May, Melbourne City Council had approximately 20,000 padlocks removed.
“In the future we’ll keep the bridge clean,” Lord Mayor Robert Doyle told local media.
On Monday, French workers began the mammoth task of getting rid of an estimated 700,000 of the locks, which had already caused a section of the bridge to collapse.
Lovers in Australia and France would also commonly throw keys into the water below, which some experts warned increased the risk of metal pollution.
“It’s the end of the padlocks,” Paris mayor Bruno Julliard told Reuters.
“They spoil the aesthetics of the bridge, are structurally bad for it and can cause accidents.
“We all want Paris to remain the city of love, of romance. But we think it can stay the city of love without love locks.”
Protective plexiglass panels will be installed on the French bridge to thwart lovers in future, while in Melbourne additional lock removals will be conducted ‘from time to time’.