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'Get rid of love locks on historic bridge': Basel politician

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'Get rid of love locks on historic bridge': Basel politician
Basel's Middle Bridge was rebuilt in 1903. Photo: Swiss Tourism
13:10 CET+01:00
They have become a fashion all over the world, but are love locks a scourge and an eyesore?

For one politician in the Swiss city of Basel, the answer is a clear yes.

Beat K. Schaller with the Swiss People’s Party (SVP) wants the city to go the way of Paris which took dramatic steps a couple of years ago to stem the tide of young lovers professing their undying love to each other by inscribing their initials on padlocks and attaching them to the city’s Pont des Arts bridge.

Schaller believes the Käppelijoch tower on Basel's iconic Middle Bridge is now plagued by the totems of love that it is “booked out”, according to local daily the Basler Zeitung.

The iron bars of the current Käppelijoch – a copy of the structure that was once the site of executions by drowning, with criminals being flung into the Rhine River – have become so “disfigured” by love locks that it is no longer possible to see inside, the politician said.

“I don’t know anyone who likes how things look now,” Schaller added, calling for the bridge to be restored to its former glory.

This is not the first time the issue of love locks in Basel has come up. In 2013, another councillor asked the city to remove the locks but authorities decided not to go-ahead with the clean up because the problem was relatively minor. However, the city also said it was keeping its options open.

The love locks trend has spread across the world in the last two decades, with couples writing their names on the padlocks and throwing away the key as a sign of their undying bond.

However, while some cities, such as Venice, have run campaigns to have the locks removed, others, like Copenhagen have decided not to act against the practice for the time being.

 

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