Paris paramours foil love lockdown
By Alexandria Sage
PARIS (Reuters) - A Paris push to rid the city of the thousands of "love locks" weighing down its bridges is being thwarted by tourists' relentless romance.
For years, visiting couples have hung brass padlocks on the iron grills lining the city's bridges to symbolize their undying love - they write their names on the locks, then toss the key into the Seine below.
About 700,000 love locks are added every few months and Paris officials say they are damaging the bridges and threatening safety because of the added weight.
In a bid to stamp out the practice, officials last week began installing thick plastic panels on the Pont des Arts, the pedestrian bridge linking the Louvre to the Left Bank, depriving lovers of the grillwork needed to attach their locks.
By Wednesday, two new plastic panels were in evidence, with more than a dozen iron grills covered by plywood in preparation for the new panels.
However the experiment is not working.
Tourists continued to affix locks to the remaining, already-overloaded, grills - and none had even heard of the anti-lock campaign.
Even the plywood has been covered in romantic graffiti. Continued...