The decision taken by the municipal authorities to remove the hundreds of thousands of love locks from the Pont des Arts is a triumph of practical common sense over romance; evidence that even in Paris health and safety matters more than affairs of the heart.
Having said that, there was something rather frightful about all that congealed weight of feeling (be it sincere or otherwise) and the obscene brass symbolism of l'amour. It reminded one of how gangrenous and burdensome love becomes when it is fixed in place and full of insistence. As one commentator wrote, the bridge was starting to groan under this display of collective egoism.
But, on the other hand, one has to be careful not to be snobbish or superior here; I certainly don't pretend or wish to imply that love as I experience it is in some way more authentic, more noble and more beautiful because it doesn't come with a lock and key. Nor do I find the metal locks ugly as things in themselves; when glittering in the sunshine they constitute a rather pretty and impressive form of three-dimensional graffiti or folk art.
So, in sum, I have mixed feelings about their removal. Probably, if it had been up to me, I would have left them and allowed the bridge to collapse in suicidal complicity, bringing this love story to the tragic conclusion that it deserves.