Where did our love go?


In Paris last fall I noticed dozens of small padlocks attached to the wire fencing on the sides of the Pont des Arts (Gallery I). The dozens apparently became hundreds and then grew to thousands -- too many for Paris's Town Hall, which ultimately declared them an eyesore. These "love locks," some with small hearts or initials etched on them, had been hung on the popular pedestrian bridge by romantically inclined couples, who would either throw the keys into the Seine as a declaration of undying love or save the keys so the locks could be opened on future visits to Paris. The authorities announced that the locks would be removed when a suitable alternative location could found for showcasing them; recently, however, most of the locks mysteriously disappeared in the middle of the night. A story in London's Daily Telegraph speculated that they were either removed surreptitiously by city officials, or by scrap metal thieves who thought they were doing the city a favor. Whatever the reason, let's hope that the disappearance of the locks hasn't dampened the ardor that inspired this creative display in the first place.