• Coen Roy posted an update 5 months, 3 weeks ago

    Cities as distant and varied as Moscow and Manchester, New York and Newport, Beijing and Blackpool all have one striking feature in typical. Masses of padlocks, engraved with the names or initials of love-struck couples, bedeck notable landmarks such as bridges and fences – sometimes to the ire of nearby authorities.The exact origins of the “love locking” practice are unknown, but it rapidly gained global momentum after emerging in Rome and Paris throughout the 2000s. The locks have turn out to be romantic tokens – universal symbols for the commitment, strength and constancy of a relationship.However this symbol of unity has confirmed ironically polarising. Many authorities view the custom negatively, and collections of adore locks have been removed from bridges following safety issues. Such worries are not misplaced: in 2014, a railing on the Pont des Arts in Paris collapsed below the weight of its love locks.The following year, the bolt-cutters were out in force, and over 1 million padlocks (weighing 45 tonnes), were removed from the bridge to prevent additional damage. Comparable responses have been noticed worldwide, from Leeds to Melbourne.Forbidden adoreBut in numerous instances it’s not concern about a bridge’s structural integrity that sees authorities reaching for the bolt-cutters – it is anxiousness more than aesthetics. In numerous cities, adore locking has been classified an act of vandalism. Signs are erected on bridges to discourage the practice.In Florence, the city’s council went so far as to criminalise it, sparking controversy in 2005 by threatening a fine of €50 for anybody caught attaching a padlock to the Ponte Vecchio.Residents of some cities also disapprove of the practice. In Paris, two US expats founded the vociferous No Love Locks campaign, pushing for a ban on what they known as a “destructive force”. And lately, in Bristol, an anonymous nearby resident fronted an on-line crowdfunding crusade to “lose the locks” on Pero’s Bridge.