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The weight of love: ‘love locks’ as emotional objects

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On the night of 8 June 2014, a section of the metal barrier on the Pont des Arts in Paris collapsed under the weight of thousands of padlocks which had been attached to it. Since the first decade of the twenty-first century, it has become increasingly common for famous (and sometimes less famous) bridges, and, increasingly, other monuments, to become encrusted with small padlocks in celebration of romantic love. The genesis of the practice is obscure, with a number of bridges claimed as the original site, but the ritual is generally consistent: an ordinary padlock is engraved or marked with the names or initials of a pair of lovers, and often a date. The lock is then attached to the structure of the bridge, and the key thrown into the water so that the unlockable padlock becomes a symbol of an enduring relationship. The practice of depositing these ‘love locks’, as they have become known, has parallels with much earlier rituals. As public performances of emotion, they resemble the. . .

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News source: OUPblog » Philosophy

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