Love Locks May No Longer be Allowed in Paris

June 19, 2014

Unlocking Word Meanings

Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article. 

1. waning /weɪnɪŋ/ (adj.) – referring to something that is gradually decreasing in strength
Example: They were careful to cross the waning bridge.

2. perpetual /pərˈpɛtʃəl/ (adj.) – referring to something that can last for an indefinite or a long time
Example: Cities create national monuments as a symbol of perpetual loyalty to the country.

3. memorialize /məˈmɔrəˌlaɪz/ (v.) – to celebrate something through a memorable act
Example: The couple danced on the bridge to memorialize their marriage.

4. resort to /riˈsɔrt tu/ (idiom) – to be forced to do or choose something that is not the first or intended choice
Example: She resorted to walking when her car broke down.

5. irreparable ˈrɛpərəəl/ (adj.) – referring to something that can no longer be repaired or fixed
Example: It is no longer safe to use the bridge because of its irreparable damage. 


Read the text below.
Paris City Hall has expressed concerns on how the multitude of love locks on the Pont des Arts [pon-dez-ar] footbridge cause remarkable structural damages to the bridge.

The sheer weight of the locks has resulted in the bridge’s waning form, forcing city authorities to constantly carry out repairs.

Situated over the Seine [seyn] river, Pont des Arts is one of the most famous locations in Europe because of its love locks tradition. Since 2008, lovers from all over the world have visited the bridge to attach padlocks on its railings and throw the key into the river to signify perpetual love.

However, the bridge is also one of the city’s most important landmarks. It connects two historic locations: the Louvre [LOO-vruh] Palace, home to the city’s famous museum, and the Institut de France, which houses the country’s central academic institutions. 

Because of the bridge’s importance, the City Hall advises the public to stop putting locks on the bridge. Instead, couples should memorialize their love through a virtual love locks website, the City Hall suggests.

Should the ritual persist, the City Hall may resort to more serious actions, such as illegalizing the fastening of love locks on the railings. Although authorities have yet to consider such actions, there has already been a growing public effort among citizens who have set up a petition to ban the tradition.

According to petitioners, the love locks are not only causing nearly irreparable damages and forcing costly repairs, but have also turned the bridge into an unattractive sight.

Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.  

Discussion A

·         Would you support the petition against the love locks tradition? Why?
·         How do you think people would react if the love locks tradition is banned?

Discussion B

·         What simple ways can citizens do to take care of important landmarks/monuments?
·         Which do you think is more important, public traditions or public landmarks/monuments? Why?

June 19, 2014