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. Equity

    Berlin Will Freeze Rents for Five Years

    Local lawmakers agreed to one of Europe’s most radical rental laws, but it sets the stage for a battle with Germany’s national government.

  2. A photo of Lev Hunter, a Flint resident who works at a hospital, is also a local entrepreneur behind the Daily Brew, a coffee start-up.
    Equity

    The Startups Born of Flint’s Water Crisis

    Five years after the Michigan city was hit with its public health emergency, there’s good news—and signs of an entrepreneurial resurgence—coming out of Flint.

  3. A person tapes an eviction notice to the door of an apartment.
    Equity

    Why Landlords File for Eviction (Hint: It’s Usually Not to Evict)

    Most of the time, a new study finds, landlords file for eviction because it tilts the power dynamic in their favor—not because they want to eject their tenants.

  4. Environment

    Paris Wants to Grow ‘Urban Forests’ at Famous Landmarks

    The city plans to fill some small but treasured sites with trees—a climate strategy that may also change the way Paris frames its architectural heritage.

  5. A photo of a Google employee on a bicycle.
    Equity

    How Far Will Google’s Billion-Dollar Bay Area Housing Plan Go?

    The single largest commitment by a private employer to address the Bay Area’s acute affordable housing crisis is unique in its focus on land redevelopment.

×