Friday, February 27, 2015

Love locks, graffiti and more in Paris (part ll)

In part l of this post I reminisced about going with my mother to a Paris department store, La Samaritaine, and looking at the River Seine and the bridges below from its rooftop terrace (click here for part l.)  We often strolled along the quais of the Seine and checked used books in the "bouquinistes" stalls.  Unfortunately in those years I never had a camera with me, as Paris was not a tourist sight for us - who carried a camera in their home town while shopping?  Here is a painting of the bouquinistes by Granick, a contemporary French artist born in 1932, showing both the Pont Neuf and the Pont des Arts.  (Copyright Granick.)  (I talked about both bridges in part l of this post.)

My parents had a serious automobile accident resulting in my mother's broken knees among other injuries.  After that we could not walk as much as before and would often take a rest on the Pont des Arts.  We would bring a "pain au chocolat" and sit on a bench on this bridge, watching the Seine and the passers-by.  Below is a photograph of the Pont des Arts taken in 1857 by Gustave Le Gray next to one taken in 1987 by Michel Kena.

Often there would be an artist painting the scenery or even some art exhibit.  Many famous artists painted the Pont des Arts, as it was such an elegant bridge.

Vue du Pont des Arts, Paris, 1905, painted by Charles Victor Guilloux, French 1866-1946

The Pont des Arts was a calm and charming bridge then.

Every time I flew back to Paris to visit my family - at least twice a year for decades - I would try to walk one afternoon by the bouquinistes to buy some second-hand French books, because books in French are not so easy to find in the Atlanta area.

Some bouquinistes sell also vintage postcards.  After buying books and postcards I would sometime go and sit on the Pont des Arts to look at my purchases.  Below are some of the books I bought during my last trip to Paris in 2013.  The books are covered in see-through plastic paper with the price written on them, as you can see from the top books in the picture below.  The top Marcel Proust book was 6 Euros and I turned the other Proust book next to it to show its price - 4.5 Euros - which is not inexpensive for second or rather third-hand used paperbacks.  (Click on photo to enlarge and read book titles.)

During our visit to Paris in May 2011, my husband and I walked on the Pont des Arts.  That was the first time I noticed locks on the bridge as we had not walked on it in our previous visits.  There were not too many locks as you can see below.  There were even less on the Pont de l'Archeveche near Notre Dame.

It appears that this trend started from a few lines in an Italian novel by Federico Moccia.  The novel was turned into the 2007 movie entitled "Ho Voglia di Te" (I want you.)  Locals began copying the characters in the film and placed locks on "Ponte Milvio" a bridge over Rome's Tiber River that was built in 206 BC.  This lovelock bridge mania then spread to Paris and other cities thus it is not a Paris tradition as some tourists have declared.  Some say that love padlocks were also used 100 years ago on a Serbian bridge, but the Paris bridges did not fall prey to this craze until after the Italian film came out.  At first people thought it was cute.  But then crowds of copy-cat couples started to fix their locks on Paris bridges, especially the Pont des Arts.  It seems in our times that people love to copy each other, then talk about it and place photos of themselves on the Internet, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and all the rest of social media.  This is truly the culture of the "Look at me!" fad.  (Below are locks on Rome bridges.)

When we were in Paris in May 2013 we went down Avenue Winston Churchill to the Alexander III Bridge, one of the most beautiful and elaborate bridges in Paris.  It was named after Czar Alexander III to commemorate the alliance between France and Russia in 1892.  As we approached the bridge the art nouveau lampposts and sculptures of cherubs and nymphs looked fine.

We stopped on the bridge and looked at the view toward the Eiffel Tower.  I took some photos and noticed locks on some of the lovely bronze sculptures of the bridge.  I was stunned and horrified, truly.  This is disrespectful of the city and its historical monuments.  Parisians are very upset that egotistical visitors come to their city and attach their locks on their bridges, above all on the Baroque sculptures of the majestic Alexander III Bridge.

We did not walk to the Pont des Arts because I had seen pictures of this unique bridge now looking like a dump site with all the rusting padlocks, and I knew this would be painful.  It's hard for me to understand that people think it is OK to visit another country and vandalize its historical monuments.  The tourists come to the Paris bridges, place their locks, bicycle locks and even plastic garbage bags, or write and paint graffiti, then leave and it is up to the citizens of Paris to pay for the cleanup and damages.  This is shocking vandalism.  Why don't they paint a heart and their initials on their own cars?

Now three-quarters of a million locks have infested several Paris bridges like a plague of locust.  Last summer a section of the fencing on the Pont des Arts collapsed because of the weight of the locks.  The City of Paris placed some plywood panels on the bridge in front of the railings and these were immediately spray-painted with graffiti.  This proves that when people see love locks they don't hesitate to scrawl their graffiti on public structures as well.  Fifteen more grill work panels had to be removed from the Pont des Arts for safety reason as each panel contained nearly 500 kg (1102 pounds) of locks or four time the allowable load limit for this lightweight pedestrian bridge.  Three glass test panels were installed on the bridge, each with different anti-graffiti properties, antiglare, shatter resistance, etc.  All the bridge panels, 110 of them, will have to be slowly replaced with the shatter-proof glass, which is extremely expensive and will have to be paid by local taxpayers.  So it is easy to understand why Parisians are quite upset (furious) about these horrid locks.

Last year two ladies, Lisa Anselmo, a New Yorker who also lives in Paris, and Lisa Taylor Huff, an American writer who moved to Paris and has dual French-American nationality founded
No Love Locks™.  They are trying to stop this trend.  They say on their website "Unfortunately, the historic bridges of Europe and around the world aren't feeling the "love" at all, nor are the citizens of the cities who are burdened with maintenance costs from a trend that has escalated out of control."  They started a petition, which I signed back in 2014, for the Mayor of Paris to ban these love locks - you can click on their website here (nolovelocks.com.) and sign the petition.  I think more than 10,000 people have already signed.  These ladies have energized concerned and angry Parisians and others who love Paris to fight for the city.  For Valentine Day 2015 they had a No Love Lock Campaign asking visitors to refrain from placing locks on Paris bridges or even on the railings of the Eiffel Tower.  (Pictures courtesy No Love Locks.)

NBC evening news, on February 15, 2015, the Sunday after Valentine Day, had a segment on how mass tourism is damaging the Pont des Arts Bridge in Paris.  The reporter was on the bridge as a man was scrawling graffiti on a board (and was later arrested, thankfully.)  At the end of the story the reporter interviewed a couple on the bridge who came to install a lock, and asked them something like what did they think about French people who do not wish tourists to place locks on the bridge and have banned them?  I was appalled to hear their reply: "They are French, we are Americans!" meaning that it's OK for us Americans to come to Paris and destroy their UNESCO World Heritage Site, since we are Americans we can destroy anything we like .... This is the type of people who give American tourists a bad reputation "the ugly Americans" when most American tourists are respectful of other people's property.  It's hard for me to understand this infantile narcissism and to willfully damage the legacy of a foreign city's architectural history.  Not to mention the pollution from all the hard metal keys thrown into the river (over 70,000 or more.)  Here is this snickering couple that I photographed from the TV show.

When it is in the USA, vandalism is quickly stopped.  In Washington, DC, a foreign tourist placed green paint on the Lincoln Monument.  She was arrested.  It took hours to remove the paint from the Georgia marble and a US Park policeman was guarding the statue.  So why is it OK for Americans to come to Paris to vandalize our monuments like the couple above?

National Geographic had an article on the padlocks last year: "Has a craze on the world's bridges gone too far?"  where the two Lisa had written a comment - you can read it on the article.  Here is an excerpt from it: "One thing we hope people think twice about, before they put a lock on a bridge or monument in Paris, or any other city, is this: Whatever happened to "responsible tourism"?  The love locks seem to be part of a rather egocentric shift in thinking among some (though fortunately not all) travelers, to what I call "Entitlement Tourism."  Instead of following the adage of "Tread lightly.  Take only photographs.  Leave only footprints"  when traveling, instead of taking a voyage with the idea of accumulating new experiences and special memories, an increasing number of tourists NOW actively seek ways to "leave their mark" on the place they are visiting."  This is so true, it reminds me of animals placing their marks, or scent, on the territory they believe is theirs, or dogs claiming their lampposts.  Has our species gone down that low?  Below are locks on Pont de l'Archeveche going to Notre Dame de Paris cathedral.

Their comment goes on "... the "entitled tourists" really represent a problem the world over.  They're the ones who will attach a padlock where it isn't wanted, needed or invited - because they believe they have the right, having spent thousands to travel there.  They will scrawl their names and graffiti tags over any surface, or carve messages into the bark of trees or into the stone of the pyramids - because they are so puffed up with their own self-importance that nothing else matters.  They will leave a trail of trash in their wake wherever they go because they can't be bothered to clean up after themselves - they're on vacation, let someone else do the dirty work!  They will break off pieces of a coral reef or chip off a piece of landmark stone church - because "What's one little piece of coral or stone, and I really WANT one to remember my trip!"  (Photos courtesy No Love Locks.)

Some cities have had enough though.  Venice had workmen remove more than 20,000 padlocks from the wooden bridge "Ponte dell'Accademia" over the Grand Canal, twice.  Citizens of Venice were so furious with tourists placing their padlocks on their bridges that they were calling for fines up to 3,000 Euros and up to a year in jail - but I don't think this law passed, although I think that fines are being served.

In 2012 Rome started removing locks from their bridges and giving a fine of 50 Euros to anyone attaching a padlock or writing on the Milvio Bridge.  Not long ago, an Australian father and his son were charged with vandalism by the Rome Court - the 12-years old son had to report to the public prosecutor of a juvenile court in Rome.  In addition the Mayor of Rome made it illegal to consume snacks or junk food on or around the city's monuments or having to face a fine of between 25 to 500 Euros.  I think Italy is fed up with misbehaving tourists.  The fine for padlocks on Florence's bridges is now 160 Euros and they have fined several tourists.  They were also ordered to clean the Ponte Vecchio Bridge.  I wish Paris would do the same as money talks.  The French Government did ban the padlocks in September 2014 but they still need to fine tourists who keep attaching their locks, and also padlock sellers who are usually aggressive and illegal street vendors.

 In New York thousands of love padlocks are periodically removed from the Brooklyn Bridge.  I read one of the comments at the end of a New York article that someone had said "Please this is NYC and not Paris where there is a bridge just for that purpose placed on top of a river so it's easier to get rid of the keys.  If you want to place a love lock go to Paris."  I was aghast.  Below are pictures of padlocks on the Brooklyn Bridge in New York and their removal.

A lock is not an appropriate symbol of love in France.  French people find it mind boggling - love is free.  A lock is cold and makes me think of a jail, of the Bastille, of a chastity belt.  How can copying a gesture done by millions of people be a show of love?  It is incredibly unoriginal.  It is also tacky and mostly irresponsible when it pollutes public spaces and property.  It is not romantic to do something because everyone else is doing it - where is the romance in following the unthinking herd?  Why not buy a pretty illustration of lovers in France, and take it back home to enjoy?  Peynet is a well-known Paris born painter who specialized in painting lovers (1908-1999.)  Here are some of his distinctive paintings below.(Copyright Peyney.)

Another idea - buy a reproduction or lithograph (or even a postcard!) of a painting by Marc Chagall, the Russian-French  painter born in Belarus in 1887 who spent most of his life in France and became naturalized French in 1938.  He re-painted the Paris Opera ceiling in 1963 and made it a fabulous work of art.  Here are two of his paintings "The Blue Lovers" and "The Lovers in Green."  

It hurts me to see what tourists are doing to my beautiful city, turning my City of Light into a City of Blight because of their egocentric thinking.  I am distressed because it is my city, but I believe that it is everyone's responsibility to stop self-centered people violating any city, site or the environment - it is our global conscience to defeat this destruction and vandalism.

As I was writing this, we had our first snow.  The view from my backyard may not be beautiful, but it is pure and intact.

I do not think that in Paris, under the snow, the Pont des Arts looks as romantic, peaceful and lovely as when mother and I used to stroll across it.  Its beauty has now been obliterated by a mass of clunky padlocks into an eyesore - what a terrible shame!  In my mind's eye I want to remember it as when I was a child in Paris.


UPDATE:  This past June 2015 the City of Paris finally removed 45 tons of love locks from the Pont des Arts.  For now the more than 700,000 love locks keys will remain at the bottom of the River Seine to decay.  I hope tourists will be respectful of other bridges and statues of Paris.  But if not, I trust the City of Paris will removed all these locks as well.

46 comments:

David said...

Vagabonde, Sad to see any vandalism on historic sites or even day to day structures or environments anywhere around the world. "Taggers", litterers, padlocks, thefts from National Parks, whatever... It drives me a bit crazy but unfortunately too many people either don't give a damn, its all about them or they think that its just OK! There are plenty of examples here in the USA and around the world demonstrating how thoughtless people can be... It probably comes down to immediate gratification with little thought of the damage done or the future. Sad...but too many people have "I don't care about anything except me" attitudes. Take Care, Big Daddy Dave

Thérèse said...

Une belle peinture que celle de Granick, a t'elle influence les puzzles de Ravensburger? Je n'ai pas verifie les dates.
Terrible cette histoire de cadenas... le Pont de l'Archeveche en etait bourre il y a deux semaines! Une amende qui servirait a renflouer les caisses de la ville de Paris serait la bienvenue. Sans autre commentaire.
Heureusement on peut encore se promener dans des petites rues tranquilles et Sentir Paris.

Valerie-Jael said...

Wonderful post! Here those locks are sneaking in all over the place, too, especially on old monuments, including our castle ruins, which makes me sad! They have to be removed from bridges, too, because they are so heavy that they become a security and safety risk! Valerie

Things and Thoughts said...

J'ai visite Paris pour la premiere fois a l'age de 14 ans.On a passe A Paris les vacances de ce dernier Noel et je dois admettre que tu as bien raison, le charme et la beaute des annees passees ont cede leur place a des images non seulement degradantes mais aussi peu francaises et je n'ai pas aime ca. Je croyais qu'a travers les ans c'etait moi qui changeait et perdait le regard enfantin. Mais ca touche aussi la capitale bien aimee...
Bon weekend chere vagabonde!
Olympia

biebkriebels said...

It makes me so angry to see the damage tourists make with these stupid locks. It has spread all over Europe damaging old heritages from Amsterdam to Cologne. There is no respect anymore.

NotesFromAbroad said...

Wherever you go, whether it is Los Angeles, New York City, Paris , London , you name it, there are ignorant people with nothing to do but deface properties that do not actually belong to them.
They often call themselves "street artists" and everyone should laugh in their face when they say that.
If it were sincerely frowned upon and condemned and punished, it wouldn't be so "Chic" ..
I have no patience these days and especially for bums who claim to be artists etc.

NotesFromAbroad said...

PS ( because this bothers me so much lol)
If people were arrested every time they got caught defacing public property and were forced to wear prison clothes and be made to wash city streets and scrub the walls that are covered in graffiti, they might think twice. They do that in some cities and it works.
People have to stop being so complacent and get off their ***** and take back their cities and homes .

DJan said...

I had never heard of this awful vandalism. Your pictures make me sick, just to think of how so many really priceless works of art have been marred by this terrible trend. Thank you for waking me up to this.

gzuercher said...

Your comments are spot on. I have been photographing the bridges that cross the Seine for years and have watched the encroaching degradation grow and grow. Until today the vandalism on the Pont des Arts has become like an ugly chancre, spoiling all the beauty. I was lucky enough to get photos of the Pont des Arts in 2008 before the invasion commenced, you might like to take a look at the photos at glz.com

rosaria williams said...

Americans do feel entitled when they should feel humble and curious when they visit other countries. How to change that becomes everyone's responsibility .

Marie-Anne said...

Bonsoir, chère Vagabonde!
J’ai aussi un très bon souvenir de la vue depuis le haut de la Samaritaine! J’avais entendu dire que le pont des Arts était ‘couvert’ de cadenas, mais je n’en avais pas vu de photo et ne pouvait pas imaginer cette situation!!! Que c’est triste à voir!!! Et sur les statues du pont Alexandre!!! Incroyable!!!

Ça me fait penser aux gravures de noms/dates et messages, sur les antiquités grecques. Un vrai sacrilège sur des marbres vieux de 2.500 ans et plus! Même Lord Byron avait gravé son nom sur le marbre du temple de Poseidon au cap Sounion, près de chez-moi!
Je te souhaite un très bon weekend et un bon mois de Mars!
Gros bisous!
Marie-Anne

Paris Rendez-vous and Beyond said...

Bravo for this wonderful post dear Vagabonde.

I agree with all that you've written....those feeble minded fools who leave their locks (and sell them) need to be fined heavily. That will stop them but of course it takes money (and valuable time) to enforce such a law.

It is a problem with our society that we must copy one another and just be the 'same' as everyone else. Place the lock, take a selfie, and post it on Facebook for others to click 'Like"!!! So ridiculous....it means nothing.

I detest this nonsense....perhaps we should encourage those people to go back to school and learn a little Art History....or 'Citizenship'!

There really is something going awfully wrong with our Education systems if people think it is OK for them to pollute like this!

Thank you again dear Vagabonde....your post will encourage us all to be more aware and to appreciate what truly is beautiful!

Ciao

R

Frances said...

Vagabonde, I am absolutely in agreement with every word that you have written here. Your chosen photographs and painting illustrations underline the importance of this issue.

Vandalism.

Disrespect.

Egotism.

How casually some people seem to treat the treasures that prior generations created.

Oh, I could go on. And I wish that I could do so with you in person. With a coffee and delicious pastry in a cafe, or perhaps even a glass of wine.

xo

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Vagabonde .. love the reminiscences with your parents and time in Paris. The locks are terrible and I thought were a weight problem too - causing further damage to the structures.

Lovely to see the art you're showing us .. but not the padlocked bridges. Cheers Hilary

Mae Travels said...

You make such a persuasive and passionate case against the thoughtless tourists in Paris and other places! I appreciate how you frame the specific lock-vandalism in the context of many toxic attitudes and actions of tourists who feel entitled to do as they please. I'm sure it's not exclusively Americans, but we probably lead the pack.

I was only aware of some of the issues, and I'm glad I have now learned more.

In July 2013, we were in Paris, but somehow didn't see the bridges that were groaning under all the locks.

Shammickite said...

I love to be a tourist, seeing ancient cities and visiting historic places. I would never never knowingly do anything to leave my mark to show I had been to a place.... all I need is my camera and my sketchbook. I am appalled by this stupid padlock craze. Those Americans you wrote about should be ashamed of themselves.

Pondside said...

Vandalism, 100%. I was horrified to see the extent of this destruction. I often think of the signs in the parks 'Take only photographs, leave only footprints'. It seems that tourists in Paris and Rome need reminding and perhaps a fine.
This reminded my of something my mother used to say:
Fools names are like their faces
Often seen in public places.

The people who have to leave their mark on historic monuments are the worst sorts of fools.

Ginnie said...

As you already know, Vagabonde, I have seen these love padlocks almost everywhere I go here in my part of Europe (Netherlands, Germany, Belgium). Your post has really made the "issue" much clearer. Thank you for raising our conscience about this blight and egocentric disgrace. What are we coming to!!!

Denise Covey said...

Hi Vagabonde. Right on the money. '...turning my City of Light into a City of Blight...' Says it all. I was last in Paris in 2011 and there seems to be even more locks on the Pont des Arts now. Great post. I will certainly bookmark it for future reference. (We are starting to get the odd lock on one of our bridges in Brisbane. I was talking to council inspectors and they said they'll leave them unless they start to rust, then they'll be removed.)

Thank you.

Denise :-)

French Girl in Seattle said...

As always, what a great story you researched, and wrote. I can feel your passion all the way to Seattle. I agree with you. Enough is enough. I have to add, however, that foreign tourists are not the only ones who have placed love locks on the poor Pont des Arts. I have Parisian friends (and other French friends) who have mentioned doing so as well, in the past. Enough with the vandals and ignoramuses, wherever they hail from. It is time for the city of Paris to take control again. I will be sharing this excellent post with the French Girl in Seattle community on Facebook tonight. Veronique (French Girl in Seattle)

Nadege said...

It is such a shame and like others, I get pretty angry when I view the photos.

Virginia said...

It is a total disgrace that the city of Paris can put dozens of police in the gardens and not even one on each bridge. In Noveber, 2014, there were sellers and buyers all over the Pont des Arts, a bridge that is in total disprepair!

Nathalie said...

This makes me very sad indeed. No tourist anywhere has the right to disrespect another country's property. But, why doesn't the French government take action? Surely it would cost less to have the bridges patrolled than to constantly repair the damage. And why are those who sell the locks along the river not fined? When I was last in Paris, a few months ago, lock sellers and buyers were all over the bridge. I hope a solution can be found soon.

Magic Love Crow said...

I didn't realize there were so many locks there! Wow! Great post! I love the view from your backyard ;o)

Nadezda said...

Oh, Vagabonde, you have snow in such southern place!
I agree and I consider that to hang padlocks on bridges and sculptures that barbarism. In Saint Petersburg many bridges are spoiled by these "ornaments" as well.

rhymeswithplague said...

Enlightening post. Thank you. I will not write a longer comment as I must go now and sign the petition.

Joyful said...

I enjoyed your post and all the lovely photos and post cards. I haven't been to Paris yet. I had read about the "love locks" but for some reason had assumed it was a tradition begun by Parisienne's themselves. You've opened my mind to just how destructive this trend is regardless of who started it. I do agree that when travelling one should travel lightly and not try to leave a mark behind.

Rhodesia said...

Lovely post on your memories but the locks are a nightmare. Ugly and thoughtless, I also understand that the weight is a big problem and could cause collapse of the bridges. I think that fines and big ones are essential, but there will still be some people who will try and vandalise the place.

Hope you are both well Diane

bayou said...

Better not writing my comment in French, I seem to know less 'dirty' words in English. What comes to my mind is obnoxious. How dare they. I have been feeling always like a guest in another country, perhaps this is what people are forgetting about? I totally agree with your whole post. And I remember so nice places I have visited in the past. Oh, les bouquinistes! Et Peyney! But I haven't been since the touristic culture changed. Actually, I don't long to go and visit now. But I shall keep in my mind to ask the French family my son is marrying into when we meet in July, what they think about it - all youngsters and in love.

DeniseinVA said...

I had no idea, I am so appreciative of this post. Thank you so much!

Arti said...

Wow those are some sights. Thanks for drawing our attention to the vandalism left behind by tourists. I first thought the padlocks are meant for symbols of love, now, I feel they are an eye soar, a menacing beast looks like. But I admire all the other beautiful photos of Paris you've posted here, the very reason people go visit, the arts of the city.

Ruth said...

It's horrific. I was thinking something like Nathalie, that perhaps they could hire guards to patrol, at least until the ignorance is transformed into knowledge. I don't understand how people can be so thoughtless and disrespectful.

I had heard back in 2003 that graffiti is cleaned off buildings every night in the periphery of Paris. When I heard this, amazed, I didn't think it was foreigners or tourists doing the graffiti, I thought it was Parisians. The locks are undoubtedly from tourists, but I wonder what percentage of graffiti is visitors and what is from Parisians?

Susan McShannon-Monteith said...

We should all cherish the riches the world has to offer and do our best not to leave pollution and trinkets of stupidity in our wake.
The photos are fantastic.
Your beautiful cat seems to be enjoying the view.
Thanks for stopping by to say hi and if you're lacking for snow we could send some your way. Perhaps a dump truck full will do?
Susan

ツ ✽ ღ Nancy ღ ✽ ツ said...

Coucou chère Vagabonde et merci pour ce partage ! J'adore ❤

ೂ Gros bisous d'Asie et bon dimanche ೂ

claude said...

Pas trop le temps ce tantôt. Comme je suis contente de voir le pont des Arts sans les cadenas à la con.
Je suis très en colère de le voir avec tous ces cadenas. la dernière Saint Valentin, d'autres ont été posés. Mais que fait la mairie de Paris. Il paraît qu'elle fait tout pour que cela ne perdure pas, tiens ! mon oeil!
Je repasserai plus tard.
Bises

loverofwords said...

My father, a White Russian who lived in Paris in the 20's always told me someday we would go there a have hot chocolate in a local cafe. Sadly, that never happened. Your naif paintings are wonderful. The locks are really graffiti and a show of ego on the people who attach them.

Jenny Woolf said...

The love locks were a cute idea when they began but then like so many fads they passed their prime. Now, I think everyone's pretty fed up of seeing them. You have some lovely (different) pictures of Paris, though. It's always a pleasure to see the variety of images on your blog.

Al said...

It's all about ME - as your post says, show yourself on social media. I don't get it - this lock thing is stupid and destructive. But what a city to have spent time in as a child!

Vicki Lane said...

This is disgusting. Heavy fines and jail time -- time spent removing locks and graffiti would be good. There is no excuse for this.

Jennifer A. Jilks said...

It is a terrible thing, isn't it?
My kids are going to Paris in May. We're babysitting!
We visited 10 years ago and it was so beautiful. I am amazed that people cannot respect a city.

Sallie (FullTime-Life) said...

Oh my dear Vagabonde" I am in tears. How shameful to know that there are still such Ugly Anericans in existence . I have never been able to understand what motivates people to vandalize and nor can I understand the attitude that Americans ad tourists should not have to respect their host country. I'm ashamed , pure and simple.

Pat said...

I'm horrified at the desecration of this beautiful city and its bridges. I have mentioned it on my time line.
It is so sad and I pray it can be rectified.

Perpetua said...

Vagabonde, I feel your pain at what these mindless, egotistical people are doing to your beautiful city. I haven't been to Paris for over 30 years, so all of this is new to me and I hate it. Back then DH and I wandered along the banks of the Seine and across the bridges and browsed the stalls of the bouquinistes. I would take no pleasure in doing that nowadays. :(

sonia a. mascaro said...

First of all, I am so sorry your parents had a serious automobile accident. I hope both now are very well.

Great post, as always. Love your photos, posts cards and your words. You did here a great reportage. Really these locks are a nightmare!

Kay said...

It's amazing how those love locks have caught on everywhere. We saw them at the Great Wall in China!

Helsie said...

Paris is my all time favourite city. I thought that the bridge with the locks was wonderful and had no idea that the people of Paris didn't like them. With all the sellers there selling locks it seemed that they were encouraged - one of the things on the tourist "to do" list. There were no signs indicating otherwise either. I'm sure less people would participate if they knew the people of Paris were offended by it. What a shame ! Why don't they just remove them and actively discourage the practice for while ? I imagine the last thing most of these people would want would be to be considered vandals in the most beautiful city in the world.

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