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Key to love? Paris swaps selfies for bridge locks

Passers-by look on municipality workers, as they fix a giant sticker on the sidewalk of the Pont de l
Passers-by look on municipality workers, as they fix a giant sticker on the sidewalk of the Pont de l'Archeveche in Paris, Wednesday, Aug. 13, 2014. Paris is hoping to persuade visiting couples to end the recent and unwelcome tradition of fixing padlocks to the Pont de l’Archeveche. With giant stickers in three languages in French, English and Spanish. Paris began its ‘Lovewithoutlocks’ campaign, saying the city’s famed bridge could not withstand the thousands of padlocks that cling to every available surface. (AP Photo/Michel Euler)
— image credit:

By The Associated Press

PARIS - Paris hopes to persuade couples to end the unwelcome recent tradition of fixing padlocks to the Seine River's aging bridges, and instead upload hashtagged selfies to a website dedicated to enduring love.

With giant stickers in French, English and Spanish on the Pont de l'Archeveche, behind Notre Dame Cathedral, Paris began its #lovewithoutlocks campaign on Wednesday, saying the city's famed bridges "can't resist your love" — the padlocks clinging to every available surface.

The lovers' locks craze dates back only a decade or so. But the weight is pulling bridge railings down.

Attacking a lock is a "symbol of togetherness," said Lawrence Phillips of Wales, at the bridge with his Australian girlfriend.

Dutch tourist Bob Te Booy agreed. "I think (a selfie) isn't a good replacement."

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