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Love locks : How did the phenomenon begin?

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The widespread practice is both heartwarming and hazardous

Love locks have popped up around the world as declarations of devotion, but they have also proved to be a headache for city officials since the weight of the locks proves dangerous and damaging to bridges.

No one knows exactly how or when this phenomenon began, but it has become widespread. From Mount Huang, China, to Cologne, Germany, these locks have become a permanent additions to bridges. But they have also proved to be too much to bear.

The Pont des Arts bridge in Paris, arguably the most famous love-locked bridge, partially collapsed in 2015 from the weight of nearly 10 tons of locks. The locks had to be removed for safety. Other cities are also taking precautions: New York City’s Brooklyn Bridge has signs warning of a $100 fine if visitors are caught fastening locks to its structure, while Korean and Russian cities have designated “safe spots” for locks.