Eighteen months ago, the city of Paris removed around one million padlocks from the city’s bridges, attached by couples as a symbol of love. Local authorities will now sell some of the locks to raise money for refugee groups and charities.
First Deputy Mayor of Paris Bruno Julliard said: “Members of the public can buy five or 10 locks, or even clusters of them, all at an affordable price. All of the proceeds will be given to those who work in support and in solidarity of the refugees in Paris.”
As The Guardian reports, the sale of the tiny relics to members of the public could make up to €100,000, with the rest of the 65 tonnes sold as scrap metal.
Lisa Anselmo, who launched the campaign No Love Locks back in 2014 in an attempt to save the little pieces of history, told The Guardian it was an “interesting twist” that she supported. “Paris has made a strong statement in this one act. I hope other cities around the world will follow its lead.”
After the ‘jungle’ refugee camp was destroyed, refugees have come to Paris seeking shelter in increasing numbers. The city’s first official refugee camp opened back in October, although it can only hold 400 people at one time.