Weight of Love Cripples Pont des Arts Bridge in Paris

PHOTO: Love padlocks are seen on the Solferino bridge after a chunk of fencing with thousands of locks fell off under their weight on the Pont des Arts bridge, in Paris, June 9, 2014.

Thousands of couples have memorialized their undying love on the Pont des Arts bridge in Paris. Tradition dictates that romantics attach a lock to the beloved bridge and throw the key into the River Seine below.

But given the events of this weekend, we can only hope their relationships are more secure than the landmark. The story isn't all hearts and flowers for the historic span.

Police rushed to evacuate the structure on Sunday after a five-foot section of the bridge rail crumbled under the weight of the padlocks. And though the bridge is expected to re-open Wednesday, some wonder whether the tokens of affection are too great a burden for the footbridge to bear.

Protesters have launched a "No Love Locks" campaign that hopes to ban the practice. Those who have signed a petition to that effect say the practice puts the "delicate Pont des Arts" in "mortal danger."

Responding to the accident, Deputy Mayor Bruno Julliard vowed to devise a solution that will protect the bridge from further heartbreak. Julliard told BFM television on Monday that he is considering alternatives to the padlocks.

"We don't lack for ideas, but now it's rather urgent for reasons of aesthetics and security. We have to find an alternative to these padlocks of love," he said.

Until they do, many hearts will be heavy -- and so will the Pont des Arts.

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