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Tuesday, Oct. 3
The Indiana Daily Student


Keep your love locked down (for 15 days)

Love Padlocks

Cutting free more than 1,000 symbols of love, city workers bore bolt cutters and garbage bags while clearing “Love Padlocks” from the wrought iron railing of the Isabel II Bridge in Seville, Spain, last week.

The Love Padlocks have been placed on the bridge’s railing since the early 1980s by both local and international couples to signify their love, but the City Hall passed a motion in late September requiring all the locks be removed from the bridge every 15 days.

Their reasoning: The Love Padlocks destroy the aesthetics of the bridge. 

Visiting and local couples make a point to visit the Isabel II Bridge with a padlock in hand. After writing their names on the padlock and maybe a small memo, the couples attach it to the bridge and throw the key into the river below as a symbol of their devotion to each other.

The tradition of placing Love Padlocks for the world to see began in the center of the southern Hungarian city of Pécs, where lovers locked padlocks to a wrought iron fence on a small street off the city’s main square.

The tradition caught on so quickly that the fence was soon completely filled with Love Padlocks, and locks began appearing elsewhere in the city.

Local authorities then put up another fence in front of the original for future lovers to place their symbols of love.

Other areas around the world have started traditions of Love Padlocks as well, including Turin, Florence and Rome in Italy, Guam, Tokyo and Stockholm. These special spots attract traveling couples from around the world seeking to leave their mark.

However, Seville City Hall council members have decided that the Love Padlocks are a defacement of a national landmark.

Although locals are divided on the issue, the bridge is cleared of locks every 15 days.

This action by City Hall, however, does little to deter the love-struck couples that visit the site of the romantic tradition. Within hours of the workers removing the locks from the iron spindles of the bridge, more locks appear.

The Love Padlocks present an ongoing struggle between the hopelessly romantic and the unrelentingly pragmatic, and lovers will continue to place their locks on the bridge with the hopes that within the next 15 days, their love will not be broken in the blades of a bolt cutter and the hands of a reflector vest-clad city official.

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