I have previously written about love locks. No, not the key to a chastity belt but those locks that lovers attach to fences etc as a symbol of their devotion to each other, that their love will remain as firm and eternal as the locks padlocked to the fences. The burghers of Paris, the City of Love, had different ideas. The weight of the locks was so great, causing safety concerns, that they removed all the locks and installed plexiglass covers on the fences on their bridges.
The original Bytes post about love locks can be read by clicking on:
The item looks at love locks around the world and has some amazing pics.
The problem for the Paris authorities is that they are now sitting on a great quantity of locks that they don’t know what to do with. Until recently.
The officials have decided to offer the locks for sale to the public, either singly or in batches of 5 or 10, or even greater clusters if someone wants more. Bear in mind that these are modern locks that have been cut off the fences with angle grinders and boltcutters. Nonetheless the officials believe people will want to buy a piece of Parisian “cultural history”.
Proceeds will go to aid refugees in Paris.
Paris as it was
Going . . .
Going . . .
A view of the Pont des Arts bridge in Paris from June 9, with frescoes replacing love locks that were removed.
While some tourists think the "Love Locks" are a Parisian tradition, it's actually a fad started in 2006 after the teenage lovers in the book I Want You by Italian author Federico Moccia attached their padlock to the Ponte Milvio in Rome. The book was made into a film in 2007, and by 2010 the practice spread to Paris. In 2014 the first panel collapsed under the weight on the Pont des Arts, but it didn't dissuade tourists from continuing to attach their padlocks to any surface they could find.
The concept of love locks, not only for those in love but also as a memoriam to departed loved ones, spread to Sydney some years back, notably by being attached to the gabions (the wire baskets filled with rocks that you see alongside highways) at Ballast Point Park in Birchgrove.
They also started appearing on the Harbour Bridge and the Sea Cliff Bridge at Clifton on the South Coast but they were removed, officials citing safety concerns. Apparently weight is not the only issue, so is corrosion caused by the metal presence.
I don’t know if the ones in Ballast Point Park remain.
The place is well worth a visit, take a picnic lunch.
Speaking of chastity belts, it is a myth that knights going off to the Crusades would lock up their ladies in chastity belts to ensure faithfulness. Such a prolonged incarceration would cause both health and hygiene problems, nor has any written reference been found in this context.
First use is believed to be in the 16th century but only rarely. What was a more widespread use was in the 19th century as anti-masturbation medical devices.
Some lock humour:
A great locksmith name.