This week was decisive for the Pont Des Arts in Paris, France. The million "love locks" were removed from the bridge to make way for a temporary #Art installation. There is certainly controversy about this decision but was something really in need to be done. On one hand we have people that still want to carry on with this "tradition" but on the other hand we have mainly locals that force the authorities into action, as they believed that the padlocks were getting out of control.
The bridge was carrying about a million padlocks, meaning 45 tons of "love locks". Too much weight for a structure that was designed only for pedestrian traffic, which has resulted in the collapse of a five-foot section parapet of the bridge last year.
Near the bridge, there were signs warning that the bridge was going to be closed for a week and that all the "love locks" were going to be removed.
After the removal of all the padlocks, it can be say that it's the end of the locks but not the end of love. Fifty-six art panels were installed to stop tourists to continue attaching "love locks" to the bridge. These art panels were focused on the theme of love and were done by some international street art artists, like the French Jace, the French-Tunisian El Seed, the French Brusk and the Portuguese Pantónio. These panels are temporary before big glass panels of plexiglas are installed in October.
On his Facebook page Pantónio said that "I am proud to paint Le Pont Des Arts in Paris, symbol of romanticism on this days. My creative process was not easy, but thrutful, personnal, and more than focus on the visual impact i focus on the meaning, to honour the place. Anxious to see on the bridge the result of these days, inauguration on 8 June. with brothers in arms Jace, Brusk, El Seed. Free love"
In 2014, the "Love Without Locks" campaign and social media hashtag was launched and during this week in order to show off the new artwork that now adorns the Parisian bridge and to commemorate the removal of all the padlocks, the hashtag #Lovewithoutlocks has been used on Twitter.