Love locks plague Venice

The City of Venice, Italy has had it with 'love locks'. The locks, which are placed by lovers on the city's bridges, are apparently doing more harm than good.

"It is important to make people understand that it is not a sweet gesture, the expression of a unique sentiment, but an action that is totally banal," writer Alberto Toso Fei told the Gazzetta del Sud.

Love locks in Venice

Love locks on the Ponte dell'Accademia (Academia bridge) in Venice.

The love lock craze started about a decade ago. Sweethearts inscribe their names on a lock, attach it to a significant structure – usually a bridge – and toss away the key to symbolize their long-lasting love.

While lovers love the idea, municipalities aren't so head-over-heels. They say the locks take away from the beauty of whatever they're locked to and worry that the locks can damage critical infrastructure.

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Love locks on Albert Dock in Liverpool, England

Love locks in Cologne, Germany

Love locks on the Hohenzollern Bridge in Cologne, Germany

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'Locks of love' hanging on the wall at the top of Nam Mountain in Seoul, South Korea

Love locks in Paris

The love lock problem in Paris is so serious that they're even using English to stop people!

According to the BBC, Fei is part of a campaign in Venice called 'Unlock Your Love'. He's distributing leaflets that proclaim 'love doesn't need chains' and 'Venice doesn't need your garbage'.

Back in 2011, Venice tried to stop the love lock ritual by going after lock sellers. It didn't really work and now city crews are removing thousands of locks from the Ponte dell'Accademia.

The love lock phenomenon has turned into a bit of a battle with lovers armed with locks on one side and city crews armed with bolt cutters on the other.

In Venice, this may be one case where love doesn't conquer all.

Doug MurrayDoug Murray is a journalist and traveller. Based in Vancouver, he's been to more than 50 countries and lived in West Africa, Mexico and Guatemala. Over the past decade, Doug has written for all of Canada's major media outlets (Global, CTV, CBC) and dozens of international publications on a variety of topics including travel, business and daily news. Follow him on Twitter @borderfilms

Image credit: CP, Getty.