Logo for Blog copyNo Love Locks™ was founded in January 2014 by two friends—both named Lisa—who have chosen to call Paris home, and who have become increasingly concerned about the damage being caused by the tens of thousands of heavy locks being attached to several of the city’s historic bridges spanning the Seine River in Paris.

Lisa Anselmo, a New Yorker who also now calls Paris her home, kicked things off with a post on her blog, My (Part-time) Paris Life, entitled “Dear Tourists: Please Unlock Your Love.” This post has received over 3000 page visits and has been shared widely across social media.

Lisa Taylor Huff, a freelance writer from NJ, has been living in Paris since 2006 and has dual US-French citizenship. Lisa is a memoirist, a  Paris expat blogger and travel writer; she has also ghostwritten several books for others, and in 2006 published “The Writing Coach’s Guide to FINALLY Writing Your Book!” (iUniverse 2007). She has just completed a memoir inspired by her 10-year-old blog, The Bold Soul, about how she decided to boldly change her life and move to Paris at the age of 45, where she found the life and love she always wanted. Lisa met her French husband, Georges, in Paris in 2007 and it was love at first sight! Lisa describes why she decided to partner with long-time friend Lisa Anselmo to co-found No Love Locks: “Georges and I spent our first Valentine’s Day together having a picnic on the Pont des Arts in 2008, just before there were any locks, and we were married later that year. My connection to the Pont des Arts runs very deep, dating back to my first visit to Paris in 1998, and leading up that first romantic picnic with Georges. It was once my favorite view of Paris, but the vandalism caused by too many locks and disrespectful tourists have destroyed both the view and my memories. So for me, the No Love Locks campaign is very personal, both for myself as a Parisian and for my three French step-children; after all, these historic bridges and beautiful city center are their cultural heritage.”

The overwhelmingly positive reaction these two Parisiennes received from readers around the globe encouraged them to join forces in educating the public about this “love locks” trend, which has been spreading to cities around the world. Although Paris is one of the more well-known places experiencing a “love locks” epidemic, the problem is not uniquely or even originally Parisian (contrary to popular myth, this is NOT a French “tradition”), and city officials from Moscow to Melbourne and from Rome to New York are struggling to deal with damage to bridges and other negative side effects from a trend that begins innocently as a romantic gesture for couples seeking a way to commemorate their affection and their attachment to a particular place. 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.

Paris has certainly been the most excessively impacted by this trend. The City of Love has turned into the City of LOCKS. As of this writing, there are at least 11 bridges over the Seine and four pedestrian bridges over the Canal Saint Martin where padlocks are spreading (approaching 1 million city-wide, with hundreds more being attached every day), and they have now even been expressly banned from the Eiffel Tower due to safety issues. The visual and ecological pollution, the sheer ugliness of hundreds of thousands of locks (and their keys, thoughtlessly tossed into the Seine), and the total lack of “responsible tourism” and consideration shown by those who attach these locks to these historic bridges and monuments, has fired the passions of Parisians and visitors alike. It is no longer only “couples” tradition; now families, friends and singles are attaching hundreds of locks every day to the bridges of Paris, simply because they think it’s “a cool thing to do while in Paris”! Furthermore, the area of the Seine River where the impacted bridges are located is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and in addition, three of the impacted bridges are also historically classed by the city of Paris itself – including the one most notoriously covered by between 60-90 metric tons of locks, the Pont des Arts, which spans the river between the Louvre and the Institut de France. This once peaceful and romantic spot, where Parisians met for romantic picnics and people could sit quietly and admire the beautiful 360-degree views of the very heart of Paris, has now become nothing more than a circus spectacle. The bridge is covered from end-to-end with graffiti and with layers upon layers of rusting padlocks; illegal locks vendors profit by selling padlocks for 7-10€ apiece and often will deliberately damage panels of the bridge so that the city is forced to remove and replace locks-covered panels more frequently and so that they, the vendors, can then sell more locks to crazed tourists. Parisians are horrified by the scene, and now avoid going there altogether. Why should the residents of Paris be unable to enjoy their own architectural heritage, and also be expected to pay (through our taxes) for the constant replacement of bridge panels whenever the excessive weight of the locks causes them to collapse?

Love is a wonderful thing, but it is no excuse for vandalizing a city’s historic structures and public places! Our campaign urges the protection of the patrimoine (the heritage) of Paris as well as the proaction of the Seine, an already polluted river, and a return to responsible tourism by the 32+ million visitors who visit Paris each year as well as by the tourism industry in general. It’s time to stop encouraging tourists to desecrate bridges in the name of love, and show a little love to Paris itself!

Our Mission:

  1. To educate the public about the negative effects of placing locks on public spaces and fragile historic structures
  2. To seek out and suggest less destructive (and more original) ways for lovers and others to commemorate special moments—because we still believe in celebrating love and life
  3. To support, wherever feasible, the efforts of city administrators—in Paris and elsewhere—in finding solutions for the removal and prevention of the locks, and to promote any legislation that would ban or restrict this act of vandalism

On March 9, 2014, with upcoming Mayoral and City Council elections, we launched a petition to encourage others to support a city-wide “love locks” ban in Paris. You don’t need to be French or live in Paris to have YOUR voice heard: Sign today and share it with your social network around the world! The petition is available in the following languages: English | Français 

While our efforts are mainly focused on protecting the architectural heritage of Paris, we welcome input and dialogue with other cities that have been trying to cope with this problem. We also welcome your comments and suggestions about ways in which we can turn this trend around and reclaim the historic bridges and beautiful river views that have been lost due to the Love Locks.

Check back often to learn more about the progress we’re making in Paris and elsewhere, and to find out how you can help us spread the message and remove the locks.

Join our movement, and help to free our historic bridges and beautiful public spaces from the “love”!

Lisa and Lisa

14 thoughts on “About”

  1. I completely agree with no love locks! While at the beginning i thought the idea was cute, now it irks me to see them everywhere, not only Paris. Why not tie ribbons instead? :)

  2. im 14 and some people say im too young to know anything but i have to honset the locks are a little to much but the locks dont only represent the love for couples it also is for the love of someone who has died or has had a big inpact on their lives and im not saying your coldhearted but the feeling of someone taking off the symbol for they love for someone dont you feel a little pain or gulit

    1. Hi Kayla! Thank you so much for deciding to comment. We’re delighted to know that someone who is your age has strong opinions and isn’t afraid to express them! We do know that the locks represent love to the people who leave them on the bridges, and we really do understand that people have strong feelings about the locks if they have left them or if they have the desire to do so. We respect those feelings, and we are not telling the city of Paris that we want the locks to be thrown away – not at all! We really hope that any locks that are removed will be relocated or reused in some really special way, something that would be respectful of the love of the people who have left them there. Some people have suggested the creation of an art sculpture or a fountain — there are many possibilities! We know some people might prefer the locks to stay where they are, but the reality is that there are just far too many of them, and they are spreading all over the city! Just yesterday we received photos showing the locks on yet another bridge in Paris, the Pont Notre Dame, which is a beautiful bridge; and also there are locks on the fences in front of a church called Sacre Coeur which isn’t even near the river. And three people have told us that tourists are now putting them ON the Eiffel Tower! Don’t you find that a little shocking? I know we do. It just seems that visitors to Paris mean well, but they don’t realize that their locks could be causing damage and making bridges, monuments and public spaces less beautiful. And when you have 93 tons of locks on a footbridge, that just doesn’t sound safe to us, either. Last year, there were 32.3 MILLION tourists who came to Paris. What if every one of them wanted to put a lock on one of our bridges or monuments — or even 1 or 2 million! It is simply clear to us that the city has to take some action to protect these bridges and monuments. So… we will continue to try and get the city to do something to save the bridges and at the same time, to create a special NEW place for the locks in Paris. And thank you again for leaving such a thoughtful comment. :)

      1. It only makes sense to remove the locks. I like the idea of making a fountain out of them. Tossing a coin into that fountain (to show someones everlasting love, would be more beneficial. Use the money from the fountain to repair the damage to the bridges or help the poor. I can’t think of a better way to share the love that the couples in the past had with the couples in the present.

  3. I have also seen the lock sellers kicking out the corners of the full panels so they replace them with new empty ones in order to sell more locks.You’re right, they are doing regular damage.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Free Your Love. Save Our Bridges.


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 50 other followers

%d bloggers like this: