The charity auction “Love Locks” brought in over $369,000 - though the event was interrupted toward the end by far-right nationalists.
For years, lovers from around the world have visited Paris, France, and inscribed their initials on padlocks before fastening them to bridges in the city. Those who partake usually throw the keys into a nearby river, such as the Seine, afterward. While the tradition is incredibly romantic, railings on bridges – particularly the Pont des Arts – have begun to crumble under the weight of so many locks. For this reason, city officials began removing the padlocks in 2015. Recently, portions of bridges hosting dozens of padlocks were auctioned off to raise funds for refugees.
9News reports that the charity auction “Love Locks” brought in over $369,000 – though the event was interrupted toward the end by far-right nationalists. Hundreds of people participated and fifteen sections of the original Pont des Arts railings, which are now mounted on wood, were also auctioned off.
The majority of lots were expected to go for $244 to $296 each, but a set of locks which were fastened to a replica of the Eiffel Tower called the “French Lover” sold for a whopping $3,554! Two more displays, one with 22 locks and one with 17, went for $1,777 euros and $1,480 respectively. The most expensive section turned out to be a section of the Pont des Arts that weighs 470kg. It sold for $25,175. All $369,647 raised will go to three organizations helping to accommodate the influx of refugees in Paris: the Salvation Army, Solipam, and Emmaus Solidarite.
One individual who participated in the event is American tourist Francy Blackwood. She said she wanted to return from holiday with a “piece of Paris,” and was delighted that their contribution could help migrants fleeing from war.
“We put our own lock on the bridge six years ago,” said Blackwood. “It’s not here, but it’s such a great tradition we’d like to take some of it home with us.”
Certain bridges may never be the same in Paris, but at least the love so many have shared has resulted in funds being raised to help those who escaped their homelands with little more than their lives. What are your thoughts? Please comment below and share this news!