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Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Debate Over ‘Love Locks’ On Paris Bridges

No one knows where this practice started, but hundreds of thousands of locks adorn bridges in Paris. (Carlo Occiena/Flickr)

No one knows where this practice started, but hundreds of thousands of locks adorn bridges in Paris. (Carlo Occiena/Flickr)

“Love locks” can be found on bridges from Australia to Italy, and even in U.S. cities like Norfolk, Virginia. The padlocks are latched onto pedestrian bridges and inscribed with vows of love. The keys are tossed into the water below as an testament of unbreakable devotion.

No one knows where the practice started, but hundreds of thousands of these locks adorn bridges in Paris. Some say it was from the 2006 novel, “Ho Voglia Di Te” (I Want You), by Italian author Federico Moccia, while other believe it was at the Seoul Tower in Korea.

Some feel this public demonstration of love is an eyesore. Lisa Anselmo and Lisa Taylor Huff are founders of the “No Love Locks” campaign. They’re worried not only about the aesthetic of these locks, but also the negative effect it’s having on the infrastructure of the historic footbridges.

The two have created a petition to press the Parisian government to remove the locks permanently and create an alternative way for people show their love.

Here & Now’s Robin Young speaks with Anselmo and Huff about their campaign.

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Robin Young and Jeremy Hobson host Here & Now, a live two-hour production of NPR and WBUR Boston.

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