Whether you consider lovelock bridges an eyesore or a lovely romantic gesture, something has to give -- either the tradition, or the foundations of the bridges themselves. Visitors to the Pont des Arts footbridge in Paris got shook out of their loved-up reveries on Sunday when a 2.4 metre guard rail covered in padlocks collapsed, sparking fears that the bridge is becoming structurally unsafe.
Locks, signed with the initials of couples looking to leave an enduring symbol of their love in the city, have been being attached to bridges across the Seine river since around 2008. The tradition has now become so popular that padlocks are collected in layers across the railings of the bridges, adding massively to the weight that the structures are now having to hold, and potentially beyond their original specifications. Disregarding the aesthetic concerns, it's becoming dangerous, with Sunday's accident leading the bridge to be closed off while architects inspected it.
The tradition is expanding beyond its Parisian origins too -- you can find lovelocks even on the Wilford Suspension Bridge here in the UK, for instance. Which (considering the whole point of the Parisian gesture was once to mark a visit to "the most romantic city in the world") means you might as well love lock your office chair if you're planning on doing it anywhere else. [Gawker]