Lovers of all latitudes and longitudes have made an appointment in Paris; they are Australian, Canadian, Chinese, Israeli or Japanese, just to name a few.
Young or old, tourists or locals, regardless religion, have passed the word.
Paris, especially its Pont des Arts has become the privileged destination to declare his flame and swear fidelity.
A practice turns into tradition: to put a padlock with notes on or engraving identifying lovers coming to the Pont des Arts, find a vacant place on the metal fence, to lock the object, then throw the key into the Seine swearing secret and personal lyrics.
What’s more romantic than sealing his love in the heart of Paris before a charming dinner in Montmartre or Saint-Germain des Prés?
There is no question for me in this post to express my personal opinion on the romantic character of this practice.
I shall content with speaking about figures.
In August 2014, we estimated to 50 tons the overweight caused by the padlocks. The bridge structure was not designed with this feature and it’s not able to undergo tonnes of locks coming in addition day after day.
Moreover, in June 2014, a grid of nearly 600 kilos came off to drop on the bridge side.
Let’s imagine for a second what a 600kg grid of metal would have done if fallen on the platform below or on the barge of passage.
This episode of June caused a stir and the Mayor of Paris, very concerned about this issue, launched a great reflection to address the topic without offending the sensibilities of Romantics.
It was rumored in some foreign media, till China, where a Chinese couple was concerned for the padlock they have placed on the Pont des Arts in the past.
After some research, they came across Le cléateur and thought that if we sold the old key-based jewelry, we might be able to regain their lock and try to open it with one of our keys in order to save it from destruction.
That is currently what we understood by the end of November 2014, while we had received this request by e-mail in last July.
As the e-mail was written in Chinese, the translation has been revealed when we found the translator to let us know the content.
Not to stay in this unique order, I decided to go on a crusade/rescue for all the old padlocks I can open on the Pont des Arts as a beginning.
So safeguarded, they will maybe have the opportunity to find their happy loving owners.
Here are exclusively the first two padlocks which I was able to subtract from their tragic fate.
If you have any particular request, along with a photo or a very accurate description of your padlock and its approximate location, do not hesitate to get in touch with us to give us the elements.
If we can not engage formally with a positive finding, we can at least assure you that we will do our best to save the padlock symbol of your love.
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See you soon,