The Pont des Arts bends under the weight of the "love padlocks"

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A fence of the famous Pont des Arts in Paris collapsed this week. Let's take a closer look at how lovers of the planet, who hang a barred padlock to symbolize their love, will soon have to find more ecological alternatives.
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“This controversial phenomenon is now one of the tourist attractions of the“ City of Light ”. He worries the town hall, which is looking for "alternatives that are at the same time artistic, united and ecological" to this craze which poses "problems of safety and aesthetics. "
Source: La Presse
The next activities will allow students to familiarize themselves with this worldwide trend of hanging a padlock on a bridge, or other public structure, in order to show love to the whole world.


At the end of the activities, the student will be able to:
- Relate the incident that occurred on the Pont des Arts and locate it on a world map;
- Name other bridges, or places, where this trend is popular;
- Know the origin of this popular practice;
- Suggest alternatives for lovers in search of a symbolic gesture;
- Join the global movement to stop this type of tourist practice.

Suggested Activities

ACTIVITY 1: For or against the padlocks of love?

Introduce students to this video in order to give them a real glimpse of the bridge literally being buried under the thousands of padlocks that have taken up residence on its fences.
Ask students to take a stand. Compose two groups of students (for / against) to lead a debate on this phenomenon which made the headlines this week.
Here are some questions to feed the discussions:
Are you for or against the love lock trend?
Why are you in favor of this practice?
Why are you against using padlocks to express love?
What other means could be used to express feelings instead of using love locks?
Why do you think people love this trend so much?
How did this trend start in your opinion?
What environmental arguments could we use to justify or not this practice?

ACTIVITY 2: Origin of the padlocks of love

Show your students the following report then ask them to complete the listening grid provided with this activity.
“I want you…” in Paris!
Video of Dailymotion

Click on picture to enlarge.
Download the file in PDF format (.pdf)

ACTIVITY 3: Monuments of the world under the weight of love

Ask the students to develop an itinerary listing 10 different places that are also coveted by tourists to leave a memory of their romantic passage and which are also feeling the effects of this global trend.
Introduce them to this slideshow so that they can already have in mind ten different countries where the action of placing a padlock to proclaim one's love is widespread. Other avenues of information are also available on Wikipedia.
Display it next tutorial which easily explains how to create a custom map on Google Maps.

For further

Find songs or movies in which the Padlocks of Love, or the Pont des Arts, are mentioned.
Sign the petition No Love Locks in order to ban this increasingly widespread practice.
Follow the movement of No Love Locks on Facebook and Twitter.
Prepare an exhibition of contemporary objects transformed into artwork like dust, mice or trash cans.
Make a Time lapse from a very frequented place in his entourage in order to disseminate an information message, to claim a privilege or to make things happen.
Search a world famous bridge or structure using the international database of civil engineering heritage on the site Structurae.

More about the magazine

Pont des Arts accident / Love padlock
Dailymotion, June 8, 2014
Pont des Arts
Paris: the Pont des Arts overloaded with "love padlocks"
Le Figaro, August 27, 2013
Paris: a gate of the Pont des Arts has fallen under the weight of the padlocks
Le Figaro, June 9, 2014
The Pont des Arts resists "love locks"
La Presse, June 10, 2014
The "love padlocks" back on the bridges of Paris
Le Figaro, June 7, 2014
The "love locks", a mysterious and contagious disease
Le Monde, June 11, 2014
A site to find your love padlock on Parisian bridges
Le Figaro, June 2, 2014

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