The Padlock Problem Spreads

Film, Observatory


On Midsummer’s Eve I reported on the mystery of the Millennium Bridge padlocks. Now we have a further explanation, from Venice. On top of its usual problems of rising flood waters, sinking palazzi and tourist congestion Venice has got the lock problem big time.

Inspired by a bestselling romantic novel, young lovers are rushing to attach padlocks to the city’s Rialto bridge, damaging stonework and requiring policemen with bolt cutters to remove them.

The craze, started by ‘I Want You’, a 2006 novel by Federico Moccia, involves couples writing their names on the padlock, swearing eternal love and throwing the keys into the canal. The practice has spread to Paris, London, Madrid, Lithuania, Hungary, South Korea and even on the Great Wall of China.

There’s an argument that teenagers are learning good manners and choosing the locks instead of graffiti.

2 comments on “The Padlock Problem Spreads”

  1. Helen Martin says:

    That looks like graffiti on the wall below that strangled lamp post.People just get stranger all the time.

  2. Vickie Farrar says:

    That poor post is sadly hilarious (or hilariously sad). Good of you to share an up-to-date status re this new sort-of-sweet social menace.

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