Reuters/Charles Platiau You'll never have Paris.

Starting today, the city will begin removing “love locks” from the Pont des Arts, a bridge near the Tuileries garden.

It’s become a tradition for tourists to Paris to add “love locks” to the Pont des Arts, a bridge near the Tuileries garden, in a show of eternal affection of dubious merit and legality.

In Le Monde (link in French), a writer talks of watching a Singaporean couple buy a lock for €3 from an Indian seller, who earns €600 a month if he can avoid the police, and attach it to the bridge. “Our daughter, who has already come to Paris, told us about the padlocks,” the man said. “So we thought we couldn’t miss out and had to respect the tradition, thanks to her.”

Not anymore. Starting today, Paris will begin removing the “cadenas d’amour.” Almost a million padlocks, weighing up to a staggering 45 tons, will be taken away.

The bridge will then close this summer and in October, glass panels will be permanently installed. The same will also be done on the smaller Pont de l’Archeveché, near the Notre Dame cathedral, which is also groaning under the weight of a thousand clichés.

The reason primarily cited by the mayor of Paris, Anne Hidalgo, is safety—last year, a part of the railing at the Pont des Arts collapsed under the weight of the locks. The damage done to this bridge—which has been around since Napoleon and was rebuilt in the early 1980s—and others in Paris had prompted locals to set up campaigns like No Love Locks. Hidalgo has compared the locks to a “plague.”

Parisians may be happy to reclaim their bridges, but how are tourists reacting to the taking down of the locks? “It’s a bit silly and unfortunate,” Jean, 57, who came from Marseille with his “illegitimate” 42-year-old partner, told one newspaper (link in French). “It’s symbolic to add a padlock to seal your love on this bridge here in Paris, the city of love.”

This post originally appeared on Quartz, an Atlantic partner site.

More from Quartz:

You Can Now Protect Your Facebook Messages From Snooping Eyes

The Silly Reason Men Work (or Pretend to Work) Extremely Long Hours

A Comic Book Project Fights to Save the World—With the United Nations as Its Trusty Sidekick

About the Author

Most Popular

  1. Perspective

    Why Car-Free Streets Will Soon Be the Norm

    In cities like New York, Paris, Rotterdam, and soon San Francisco, car-free streets are emerging amid a growing movement.

  2. photo: a commuter looks at a small map of the London Tube in 2009
    Maps

    Help! The London Tube Map Is Out of Control.

    It’s never been easy to design a map of the city’s underground transit network. But soon, critics say, legibility concerns will demand a new look.

  3. Design

    New York City Will Require Bird-Friendly Glass on Buildings

    Hundreds of thousands of migratory birds smash into the city’s buildings every year. The city council just passed a bill to cut back on the carnage.

  4. a map of future climate risks in the U.S.
    Maps

    America After Climate Change, Mapped

    With “The 2100 Project: An Atlas for A Green New Deal,” the McHarg Center tries to visualize how the warming world will reshape the United States.

  5. photo: people in an atrium
    Life

    Four Coastal Areas Dominate a New Measure of Tech-Company Startup Diversity

    Just four coastal areas of the country dominate on the Startup Complexity Index, a new measure developed by researchers at the Brookings Institution.

×