I saw a post a little while back, apologies I cannot remember who or where, they did a post with one image about a location or item and then five quick facts about that location (or item)…it stuck with me, and I thought perhaps I might do a few posts on a similar level. So here we go, Love Locks………..love them or hate them, we seem to see them everywhere in our travels across Australia.
Love Locks, Blue Lake, Mt Gambier, SA
A love lock or love padlock is a padlock which sweethearts lock to a bridge, fence, gate, or similar public fixture to symbolize their love. Typically the sweethearts’ names or initials are inscribed on the padlock, and its key is thrown away to symbolize unbreakable love. Since the 2000s, love locks have proliferated at an increasing number of locations worldwide.
This latest tradition is believed by some to have been inspired by an ancient custom, which is believed to have originated in China – where lovers lock a padlock on a chain or gate and then throw away the key, symbolically locking their love forever. Around the world, cities from Moscow to Rome (And Australia) are filled with fences, bridges, and poles adorned with padlocks.
They are now mostly treated by municipal authorities as litter or vandalism, and there is some cost to their removal. However, there are authorities who embrace them, and who use them as fundraising projects or tourism attractions.Melbourne recently had 20,000 love locks removed from Yarra Bridge by the City Council citing that the locks were weighing down and stretching the safety rails.
Even the Pont des Arts bridge in Paris which was reportedly covered in 45 tonnes of love locks and had them removed due to the structural integrity of the bridge. That is a LOT of padlocks and twice as many keys!(Don’t forget those thrown away keys).
Padlocks begin rusting very quickly once exposed to the elements. This rust spreads almost immediately to metal fencing or structures to which they are attached. A rusting bridge is NEVER a good thing. The locks are polluting the rivers, most people, after attaching their locks, toss the keys into the river or lake below as part of the “romantic ritual” – but have you stopped to consider that this is actually POLLUTING these waterways and creating an environmental problem for the wildlife? There are tens of thousands of rusted keys throw into these waterways and is as bad as throwing away your plastic water bottles or other trash.
So what is your stance, romantic or destructive?