under lock and key

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There are many beautiful sites along the river Seine as it winds its way through Paris, but one that stands out from the historic architecture is the bridges laden with gleaming locks attached to their sides.

A fairly recent trend, it involves lovers engraving their initials on locks and after affixing them to the sides of the bridges throwing the key into the river. Myths, legends and endless arguments on the nature of love and ‘locking it down’ have ensured. However authorities, jilted lovers or both have periodically removed the locks, in the city of love however they always seem to return. Far from being an eyesore on such an amazing city it is an ever-evolving art piece, which no one has even seemed to call vandalism.

The trend it seems is spreading. In my current home town, Melbourne, residents near one bridge have recently spoken out against this ‘plague’ affecting a bridge near them. This despite Melbourne proudly being one of the street art capitals of the world.

Art, vandalism or simply a concerted effort to show the world that love still exists in this complicated world – the love bridges of Paris turn heads. They certainly did mine as I rode past on my city velo and I can’t help but think how they would look in the winter covered in snow.

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