Paris will auction its love locks to help refugees

The tons of locks removed form Paris's bridges will be auctioned to help refugees. The unique sale will have around 150 pieces composed by the old padlocks.

Story highlights

  • The auction will take place in the spring
  • The city believes it'll raise close to $107,000

(CNN)It's been more than a year since Paris ended its relationship with love locks.

The popular tradition of attaching padlocks to the city's bridges - as a symbol of true love - ended after the city council deemed it unsafe.
The idea was charming, but bridges were close to crumbling from the weight.
    But the city didn't want to destroy the souvenirs. So it's come up with an inspiring solution: It'll auction off the locks and the proceeds will help refugees.
    "All funds raised will be sent out to associations dedicated to helping the city's migrants," revealed Bruno Julliard, the city council's first deputy.
    Given the number of locks removed over the years, the Paris city council believes it'll raise close to 100,000 euros ($107,000).
    After all, the popular Ponts des Arts bridge carried more than 700,000 locks at one point.
    At one point, Paris's Pont des Arts bridge was covered in locks

    A romantic ritual

    The ritual of affixing padlocks became popular in Europe after Italian author Federico Moccia's wrote about the practice in one of his romance novels.
    But while the idea was initially charming, the thrill wore off as sections of historical bridges started to crumble.
    In Paris, officials installed glass panels to prevent love locks.
    Paris may be famous for its love locks, but they can be seen all over the world. In Venice, Italy, Ponte dell'Accademia also shows the trend.

    From bridges to pockets

    But now, hopeless romantics worldwide may be able to pocket a bit of French history by buying the locks.
      The advocacy group No Love Locks, which was founded to raise awareness of the damage caused by the locks, is backing Julliard's plan.
      The auction will take place in the spring.