This Valentine’s Day, Give Paris Your Love

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When my post about the love locks went viral (3000 views!) I knew I wasn’t the only one who thought they were a bad idea. So I joined forces with friend and fellow blogger, Lisa Taylor Huff, to create No Love Locks in order to spread the word and help educate people to the destructive nature of this trend on our historic bridges. Today, we are designating February 14th—Valentine’s Day—as No Love Locks Day. If you love Paris like we do, and love her beautiful bridges, we’re asking that instead of hanging a lock on the Pont des Arts this February 14th, you share a kiss—and share this message. Love should be free. Don’t put a lock on it. Happy Valentine’s Day, lovers.

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SIGN our petition to ban “love locks”

15 responses to “This Valentine’s Day, Give Paris Your Love

  1. You sound like a couple of old bag ladies that have no one in your life. Don’t be a hater. I have a lock on one of those bridges and I think it is a beautiful site to see all the people displaying their love by adding locks…it’s something beautiful and special.

    • Ah yes, another misogynist calling us old ladies. We’re both still young and both in relationships; one of us is married to a Frenchman. Who’s being the hater here? Listen, I getcha; you think the idea of a love lock is beautiful, and in theory, it is for some (though not everyone thinks a lock is a very enlightened symbol for love, particularly the French.) What we’re really against is damage and destruction caused by this trend to historic sites across the world. If you saw the Pont des Arts lately, you might agree, it’s anything but beautiful or special. It takes a lot of sand to go to a foreign country and commit a willful act of vandalism on one of their prized landmarks. Whatever happened to “take only photographs; leave only footprints?” This trend is burdening the people of Paris; you can’t think that’s okay. Come on, let’s spread a little of that love around, huh? Or is self-indulgence the new social consciousness? Listen, if they can come up with another place to put these locks that doesn’t damage historic structures that have been standing for centuries, I’m all for it. Hang away.

  2. Locks, smocks. Did you know the “…’til death do us part” statement in Western weddings was never, NEVER, in the original 4th century wedding ceremony when the church (Eastern Orthodox/Byzantine) 1st took over weddings from the state? It remains today heresy in the Eastern Christian church to say you as groom or betrothed woman think that your love can last forever but for the grace of God. This is why (yes, sad but true) The Orthodox allow (two max) divorce but NOT the Catholics/West. Because in the East, love/marriage/sacrament was always and remains viewed as a MYSTERY/mystical. A mystical union. In the West/Catholic it is a Contract between two lovers. Never in the Eastern Christian church, for example, would you be allowed yesterday or today to write your own vows. How arrogant to believe you could make up a love to last w/o God’s help. Or vow anything and keep it?
    Locks smocks. Cut ’em off and drop in recycle. Love is bigger than a contract. Even if it is mystically forever. It is still mystical. I love my wife forever but if she wants to go; not for me to remind her of some “contract”.

  3. Hi: Did you hear that another section of the Pont des Arts fell off yesterday? I saw a few articles around the world that mentioned the petition you started…I do hope the city will do something about it soon. It was said in the articles I read today that locks have started to show up at the top of the Eiffel Tower!!! (Suzanne)

      • We got the conversation going and we’re really happy about that. Now we need everyone to help move the needle on this issue. Please sign the petition if you have not, and please share it with everyone you know. Perhaps blog about responsible tourism. Tourists need to know it’s not okay to go to another country and willfully vandalize people’s history. It can never be acceptable—not in the name of love, or for any reason. This is the cultural identity of a people being destroyed. It’s. Not. Okay.

      • Thanks. I signed the petition (I had forgotten to do it so thanks for the reminder!!!). I also wrote two other posts talking about the locks in Paris: Parisian Interlude and Obsession. You can use them if it can be helpful to the cause.

        I have also started taking pictures of locks everywhere we go to document the phenomenon and I have an album on Flickr with pictures from Paris and different places in Europe. Again, you can use if it can help.

      • Hi Lisa: I have taken new pictures of the Pont des Arts and have published a new post including the link to your petition. I hope it will generate a few more signature though my site isn’t followed by that many people…Again, you can use the photos or the post if you feel it can be helpful to stop this phenomenon. (Suzanne)

  4. Must admit that my wife and I were guilty of partaking in the “Love Lock” phenomenon in Cologne. Having said that, I think a great idea would be for a number of large metal sculptures of reclined embracing couples which could be placed strategically around European cities (and elsewhere) would be the best alternative and add to the romanticism. A locked “drop box” could be provided at each location for keys, which would then regularly be emptied and eventually be melted down to provide for the next sculpture. Just a thought…

    • Thank you for your “confession.” That means a lot to me. Cologne is now taking measures against “love locks,” as they are creating problems for historic structures. I hope you won’t mind my taking this opportunity to make one more convert. I invite you to visit for more information on our cause. We are now working with Paris City Hall to help them preserve the historic center of the city. As you will see on our No Love Locks site, the “love locks” in Paris have devastated the UNESCO World Heritage district and are costing Parisians both financially and culturally. I hope what you see there will sway you against “love locks” for good and all. Your idea for the alternative solution is not a bad one, and perhaps it can work in some cities where there are fewer tourists. But the city of Paris is not interested in giving people alternative places for the locks since they have millions of visitors per year, and any structure will fill up in a matter of days. As soon as it does, guess where those locks will go—back on the historic structures. The problem with the “love locks” trend is that it appropriates public spaces and puts fragile historic structures in jeopardy (not to mention polluting the rivers with millions of keys). And if you see it that way, you’ll understand how the trend is actually quite selfish. No Love Locks seeks to educate people on responsible tourism, and help them understand they are visitors to a city, guests of the local people, and should respect the heritage of other cultures. As we say, “Take only photographs; leave only footprints.” 🙂


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