|Brief reminder of Part 1 (without mistake ) :
Lovers from all over the world go to the Pont des Arts to hang a padlock, symbol of their eternal love. These padlocks piled up on the deck grilles, which weakened them. In 2014, part of the grille collapsed. The city of Paris replaced the fences with glass panels. Thus 10 tons of padlocks were sold at auction. Others were recovered by a jewellery designer to hand over to their authors.
The rest of the padlock-laden gates were dumped in a suburban landfill site. Carmen Mariscal, a Franco-Mexican artist, borowed fragments of the railings to create a work of art. Her project took 6 years to complete. Using drawings and models, she wanted to design a temporary prison-house, which she called ' Chez Nous ' . This sheter, 3 metres high and weighing 5 tonnes, was exhibited from 12 March to 28 April 2020 - Place du Palais Royal. The aime of this sculpture, at once solid and fragile, obscure and luminous, was to ask why the padlock, symbol of oppression and confinement, has paradoxicaly become the sign of eternal love. The work was dismantled on 2 June 2020 without any information on what hapened to the material.
Long unknow, the ritual of love padlocks became popular in the 1980s (some believe it dates back to the early 20th century ) and is thought to have originated in Eastern Europe, with the first dated site being Pécs in Hungary. There, padlocks were hung on a wrought-iron gate linking the mosque to the cathedral.
In Serbia, the Mesarski most, build in 2010 in Ljubljana, is known as the bridge of love. It is frequented by ' lovebirds ' who hang their sentimental symbol on it and then throw the key into the waters of the Ljubljanica, which flows under the bridge. Rome also has a tradition of using padlocks. They are atached to the bridge ' s central lamppost before the key is thrown into the Tiber. The lampost had to be replaced after it buckled under the weight of the padlocks in April 2007.
Unfortunately, these couples are often unaware of the impact this romantic gesture can have on historic monuments. In addition to heritage preservation, safety is also an issue, as these padlocks, weighing between 40 and 54 tonnes, are liable to fall, with potentialy catastrophic effects.
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