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A Parisian Valentine: cut off the love locks
The ongoing campaign to remove the locks placed by tourists on the bridges of Paris takes Valentine's day as a good opportunity for lock cutting.
Paris is getting sick of the effects of its "city of love" reputation.
Historic bridges in Paris have become the victims of touristic "vandalism", thanks to the innumerable lovers who have shown their everlasting love with a padlock.
The historic bridge spanning the River Seine in central Paris, the Pont des Arts, has been so loaded down with locks that panels of the bridge have broken due to hundreds of pounds of padlocks, causing the city to install plywood instead.
This year, campaigners to keep Paris beautiful have declared February 14th No Love Locks Day, encouraging people to stop showing their love with heavy metal.
Another project, the tongue-in-cheeck but aptly named Fucklove campaign, proposes that, for the price of a few euros, their campaigners will cut off others' locks from bridges.
This is perhaps also a reflection of sentiments in France that Valentine's Day is a primarily commercial holiday.
The city is in support of these citizen-led campaigns and is experimentaing with glass “lock-proof” panels on the Pont des Arts and the Pont de l’Archeveché.