I first came across lovelocks on a bridge in a small italian town, Cannobio on Lago Maggiore. Over a year later I found the Pont des Artes in Paris covered in a multi-cultural spread of padlocks offering public declarations of undying love. Always known as a meeting place for lovers it was something new to see a tapestry of locks spread across the wire barrier.

I’m told the tradition of inscribing names on a lock, attaching it to a bridge and throwing away the key to announce enduring love has a long history. It seems strange though to place so much faith in the common padlock to protect us from the vagaries of time and change that will always transform love.

Since my visit to the Pont des artes on a cold November day in 2011 the padlocks have multiplied has have the views of public authorities trying to find a way to manage the proliferation of lovelocks on their bridges.. The message on the green bin bag on the pont des artes suggests both vigilance and cleanliness…