Pont des Arts : the Danger of the Padlocks


4/3/14 - Heritage - Paris, Pont des Arts - The trend of placing padlocks on Parisian bridges, notably on the Pont des Arts, which we have repeatedly criticized for the way in which it mars one of the French capital’s most beautiful spots, listed as a Unesco world heritage site, is not just a foolish act of vandalism. It is also becoming dangerous and the day when a child, playing, falls into the Seine river, Parisian officials will have a hard time denying their share of responsibility.


1. The Pont des Arts, or Romantic Paris
as seen by
city hall
4 March 2014
Photo : La Tribune de l’Art

2. The Pont des Arts, or Romantic Paris
as seen by
city hall
4 March 2014
Photo : La Tribune de l’Art


Just today, as seen in the photographs here, a section of the wiring collapsed under the weight of the padlocks, leaving gaping holes in the railing. Temporary protection measures were set up, adding to the already ugly installation. The situation is totally incredible. But it is true that for Danièle Pourtaud, deputy director for heritage at Paris city hall, these padlocks represent romanticism : "Paris is the city of lovers, of romance. It’s not a good idea [to remove the padlocks]" (Paris-Match). Poor Delacroix !

Version française


Didier Rykner, mardi 4 mars 2014



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