Paris’s much maligned love-lock tradition is making a comeback

Bouquinistes takes its inspiration directly from the padlocks attached to bridge railings by couples who consummate their love through the medium of brass lump

 

An exhibition of engraved padlocks is being housed on a Parisian bridge in a bid to redeem the bad reputation that engraved padlocks have earned themselves on Parisian bridges (oh do keep up).

Eight artists have contributed designs to Bouquinistes, the exhibition named after its home in a second-hand bookseller stall that perches along the city’s Pont des Arts bridge.

Bouquinistes takes its inspiration directly from the padlocks attached to bridge railings by couples who consummate their love through the medium of brass lump. Love locks have repeatedly caused whole panels of the Pont des Arts to peel away under their weight, and the city council removed about a million keepsakes by force last June.

Unfortunately for the aesthetics of le bridge, love locks invariably reappear and multiply to produce a barnacle-clad appearance. The tradition is hated by singles and cynics, and this same controversy formed the basis of inspiration for Bouquinistes – the transformation of a mundane item into an enduring and unique artefact.

In keeping with bookseller tradition, the designer padlocks are only available for display from Thursday to Sunday “when the weather feels nice”.

The newly embodied objets d’art provoke their own cynicism, as their host bookseller previously despised the love lock tradition. In wake of their promotion to fine art, he is a changed man, beckoning the attention that a sister exhibition to the Monnaie de Paris might bring.

Meanwhile back in Dublin, love locks adorning the Ha’penny bridge are coming under threat from a vigilante gang of lock pickers under the twitter handle @LoveLockNoMore.

The locks are removed and stashed in preparation for lock-picking classes hosted by Dublin based hackerspace TOG, where upstanding members of society can learn how to undo the sentimental efforts of padlock-buying romantics.

If TOG endeavour to take their efforts to France, they may inherit some works of art. 

The Irish Times Logo
Commenting on The Irish Times has changed. To comment you must now be an Irish Times subscriber.
SUBSCRIBE
GO BACK
Error Image
The account details entered are not currently associated with an Irish Times subscription. Please subscribe to sign in to comment.
Comment Sign In

Forgot password?
The Irish Times Logo
Thank you
You should receive instructions for resetting your password. When you have reset your password, you can Sign In.
The Irish Times Logo
Please choose a screen name. This name will appear beside any comments you post. Your screen name should follow the standards set out in our community standards.
Screen Name Selection

Hello

Please choose a screen name. This name will appear beside any comments you post. Your screen name should follow the standards set out in our community standards.

The Irish Times Logo
Commenting on The Irish Times has changed. To comment you must now be an Irish Times subscriber.
SUBSCRIBE
Forgot Password
Please enter your email address so we can send you a link to reset your password.

Sign In

Your Comments
We reserve the right to remove any content at any time from this Community, including without limitation if it violates the Community Standards. We ask that you report content that you in good faith believe violates the above rules by clicking the Flag link next to the offending comment or by filling out this form. New comments are only accepted for 3 days from the date of publication.