It looks like I made it just in the nick of time—the Love Locks fence on Commercial Street in Portland, Maine will meet the same fate as the locks on the Pont Des Arts in Paris did. They will be torn down on Monday because, like the locks in Paris, they pose a structural risk to the fence and the sewage and storm drain that it protects.
Contrary to popular belief, the tradition did not actually start in Paris—that only began in the early 2000’s. It is thought to have started in Serbia during World War I, but the tradition has been catching on recently around the world in cities like Paris, Rome, Cologne, New York, and many other locations like Portland. While it is a sweet tradition among well-meaning couples, the locks are destroying the integrity of bridges and other structures and many believe that they are marring the beauty and architecture of landmarked buildings.