Paris Hopes a Hashtag Can Keep Love Locks Off the Bridges
Paris is trying to convince tourists to not leave padlocks on the city’s historic bridges — with a hashtag.
While officials are stopping short of implementing an actual ban, they are starting to take the damage to the bridges done by the thousands of love locks seriously. The #LoveWithoutLocks campaign asks lovers to take a selfie and share the image with the hashtag. An official website, lovewithoutlocks.paris.fr, will feature the images.
Critics think a selfie hashtag campaign doesn’t do enough to combat the problem, according to the No Love Locks campaign, which was started by two American expats living in Paris.
“We hope #LoveWithoutLocks is the beginning of an aggressive campaign against ‘love locks’ and that Mayor Hidalgo will now take a stronger stance on protecting the UNESCO World Heritage site along the Seine,” according to a statement from No Love Locks.
Several posts with the hashtag cropped up on social media, though the majority of posts are so far from those who have been fighting the locks.
— Ani Cronopio (@AniKullock) August 12, 2014
— Jesu ن (@jesusanchez) August 12, 2014
— Daisy de Plume (@daisydeplume) August 12, 2014
Love locks have grown in popularity in Paris since 2008. The tradition’s origins are hard to pin down, but the latest craze has been tied to the rise of the romance novel Ho voglia di te.
Not only are the locks a nuisance, critics say, but physical signs of affection are also a threat to Paris’ culture, specifically the bridges that are World Heritage sites.