Arabic Street Art Replaces Love Locks in Paris’ Pont des Arts Bridge

The bridge looks almost unrecognizable in the absence of the iconic "love locks" Photo: VOA News

Following news that officials in Paris, the capital of romance, removed the iconic “love locks” from the Pont des Arts bridge (see Hearts Break as Paris Says Goodbye to Iconic Love Locks), the city has now replaced the troublesome padlocks with panels decorated by the French-Tunisian street artist eL Seed, the International Business Times reports.

French-Tunisian graffiti artist eL Seed was commissioned to decorate the bridge. Photo: Jerry Balloch

French-Tunisian graffiti artist eL Seed was commissioned to decorate the bridge.
Photo: Jerry Balloch

Collectively weighing an estimated 45 tons, the romantic love locks, a hugely popular tourist attraction, had become a safety hazard.

But, in keeping with the bridge’s theme of romance, eL Seed’s temporary street art installation—curated by the gallerist Mehdi Ben Cheikh—features a quote in pink by the 19th century poet Honore de Balzac in Arabic letters that reads: “Paris is in truth an ocean: you can plumb it but you’ll never know its depths.”

“I thought it was brave … to put an Arabic sentence in Paris,” Cheikh told ABC. “It’s the language of a whole people across the world […] who are very open, with an extremely spiritual dimension in their religion too.”

The Arabic graffiti spells out a quote by the 19th century French writer Honor de Balzac Photo: Globo

The Arabic graffiti spells out a quote by the 19th century French writer Honor de Balzac
Photo: Globo

Other panels feature works by the street artists Brusk, Pantonio, and Jace.

They will all be replaced by plexiglass later this year, however, which will give pedestrians an unrestricted view of the Seine.


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