Paris To Auction 'Love Locks' To Aid Refugees

The city is hoping to raise over $100,000

When Paris said, "It's over," to the thousands of padlocks visitors had attached to its bridges, hearts broke around the world. Known as "love locks", the tradition was meant to symbolize true love, but in reality, it meant the crumbling of fencing around ancient bridges in the city. At one point, the Pont des Arts bridge carried the weight of more than 700,000 locks which, all together, were estimated to weigh about the same as 20 elephants.

Since the city began removing the locks in June 2015, around 1 million have been collected. Luckily, Paris has figured out a way to spread even more love with them.

The locks will be sold off to the public with all the money raised given to organizations and individuals who work with refugees. 

"This is the true meaning of love in action," Lisa Anselmo, co-founder of the organization No Love Locks, told The Local. "It's an inspired idea, and a much better way to show love — the universal kind of love — especially at a time when so many are turning their backs on the refugees of the world."



The practice of attaching locks to bridges to symbolize eternal love is thought to have originated in an Italian young adult novel that was later turned into a movie. In "I Want You," the main character invents the legend for a potential girlfriend and promises her if they wrap a chain around the third lamp post of the Ponte Milvio bridge in Rome, lock it up and throw the key into the Tiber River, they will never leave each other. 

Individuals will be able to buy the locks in batches of 5, 10 or more, and the city is hoping to raise €100,000 (about $107,000). The sale will take place early next year.


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