Paris love locks to auction for charity

A selection of love locks cut from Paris’ Pont des Arts bridge is to auction for charity.

While the craze took off in the 2000s, it actually originates much earlier, from the town of Vrnjacka Banja in Serbia.

The story goes that in around 1915, a local schoolteacher named Nada fell in love with an army officer named Relja.

Padlocks Paris Pont

Thousands of padlocks were attached to Paris' Pont des Arts 

Unfortunately for Nada, Relja met another woman while posted in Greece during the first world war.  

Nada is said to have died of a broken heart some time later.

The townspeople began to attach padlocks to the Most Ljubavi bridge, where the couple used to meet, as a romantic gesture.

In Italy, it was a popular novel (I Need You by Federico Moccia – published in 2006) that kick-started the craze.

It appears to have spread from there to Paris and then around the world.

While the phenomenon has become hugely popular with love-struck couples, most local authorities are exasperated due to the damage it causes.  

Part of the Pont des Arts actually collapsed under the weight of the locks.

The old wrought iron barriers were removed in 2015 and replaced with ones made from Perspex in an attempt to curtail the trend.

Credit Municipal de Paris is selling 15 sections of the original lock encrusted barriers, valued at $5,472-10,945 each, in the May 13 sale.

There are also 150 smaller lots, comprising locks mounted on Perspex or concrete, which are expected to make $164-218.

The proceeds will provide aid to refugees fleeing the war in Syria.  

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