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Paris, Rome or Augusta? 'Padlocks of love' evoke romance

Monday, Sept. 2, 2013 8:01 PM
Last updated Tuesday, Sept. 3, 2013 8:51 AM
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The Augusta Canal might be joining the ranks of the world’s most romantic waterways.

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The Pont de l'Archevêché Bridge over the Seine River in Paris is famous for locks that couples attach to the bridge, and then throw away the key to remain forever united.  A similar tradition is emerging at the Augusta Canal headgates.  ROB PAVEY/STAFF
ROB PAVEY/STAFF
The Pont de l'Archevêché Bridge over the Seine River in Paris is famous for locks that couples attach to the bridge, and then throw away the key to remain forever united. A similar tradition is emerging at the Augusta Canal headgates.

Its historic headgates footbridge is gaining fame as a place where lovers affix inscribed padlocks to the iron fencerails, then throw the key into the water to seal their commitment.

“This is the first I’ve heard of this,” said Tom Wiedmeier, the director of the Augusta Utilities Department.

Dayton Sherrouse, the executive director of the Augusta Canal Authority, has dealt with graffiti and other issues over the years.

“First I have heard of the padlocks though,” he said.

Although new to this area, the practice is a time-honored ritual in Paris, where the Pont de l’Archeveche Bridge over the Seine River is clad with tens of thousands of “love locks.”

Their presence along the Seine has stirred debate, too, over whether they should be classified as art, litter or outright vandalism.

But usually, they remain, to the delight of tourists.

Similar traditions have also been adopted along Rome’s famous Ponte Milvio bridge andthe Ponte Vechio Bridge in Florence.

Comments (16) Add comment
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beasyour
36
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beasyour 09/02/13 - 10:03 pm
5
2
Lets hope they don't take them down.

People get married there and people get engaged there. What a great idea

raul
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raul 09/02/13 - 10:04 pm
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2
I don't think it would work

I don't think it would work in Augusta. Some metal thief would use deadbolts to cut the locks and sell the metal for scrap to buy drugs.

Rob Pavey
533
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Rob Pavey 09/02/13 - 11:17 pm
6
0
you're right about metal thieves -

in Paris there was debate among city council members about removing the locks. And one night, after a bunch of them disappeared, people thought city officials snatched them in the dead of night. Turns out, they were hijacked by an artist who was using them in sculptures.

countyman
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countyman 09/03/13 - 12:26 pm
4
7
I pray for the day Augusta

I pray for the day Augusta finally uses the Riverwalk, Augusta Common, Amphitheater, Canal, and 8th street plaza to their full potential. The $1 million canal improvements are great, but we desperately need more. The Augusta Greenway is a nice project, and the veranda on Broad.

I keep saying tourist want to see things unique to Augusta(Riverwalk, Artist Row, Augusta Canal, etc).

corgimom
28293
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corgimom 09/03/13 - 06:25 am
5
1
This was on the Real

This was on the Real Housewives of Beverly Hills, that's where the idea came from.

seenitB4
81877
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seenitB4 09/03/13 - 07:16 am
3
2
the Real Housewives of Beverly Hills

WEll now....that settles it then...if they are good with this then we need it too....LOL...funny that they are called "real" when they have sooo many fake parts.:)

Little Lamb
43986
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Little Lamb 09/03/13 - 07:40 am
3
2
Throw Away The Keys

Sounds like littering to me. That's a hundred dollar fine.

soapy_725
43555
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soapy_725 09/03/13 - 08:19 am
0
0
What if it was your first public dump? Do you mark the spot?
Unpublished

What if it was your first public dump? Do you mark the spot?

soapy_725
43555
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soapy_725 09/03/13 - 08:21 am
0
0
That bridge is public property. Not a private bulletin board.
Unpublished

That bridge is public property. Not a private bulletin board.

soapy_725
43555
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soapy_725 09/03/13 - 08:22 am
0
0
Look at me. Look at me. I'm important. I'm a lost soul.
Unpublished

Look at me. Look at me. I'm important. I'm a lost soul.

soapy_725
43555
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soapy_725 09/03/13 - 08:24 am
0
0
We used to pledge eternal love before GOD. But there is no GOD.
Unpublished

We used to pledge eternal love before GOD. But there is no GOD.

soapy_725
43555
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soapy_725 09/03/13 - 08:24 am
0
0
Can we hang old marriage licenses on the bridge?
Unpublished

Can we hang old marriage licenses on the bridge?

David Parker
7923
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David Parker 09/03/13 - 08:45 am
2
2
Chiming in

Build a kayak ladder to get down from the river above the canal gates, down to the shoals. Portaging is not a good option as one has to go all the way to the S. Carolina side or risk getting sucked into the gates and beginning a new journey down the canal.

Riverman1
79682
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Riverman1 09/03/13 - 09:46 am
6
1
Tell them to hide the key

Tell them to hide the key nearby...just in case things don't work out.

Sweet son
9716
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Sweet son 09/03/13 - 10:46 am
2
0
Let 'em Stay!

Check the site a couple of times a year to make sure the tradition keeps occurring in a tasteful manner. If one of the locks does not fit in with the rest or can be deemed inappropriate then get the bolt cutters and remove it.

If I had placed one there it would have been in 1970 which means I have been married a long time! :)

September is Ovarian Cancer awareness month.

GnipGnop
11543
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GnipGnop 09/03/13 - 01:27 pm
3
3
I pray for the day....

Augusta treats all of it's tax payers the same....well countyman's prayer will probably get answered first...it's easier to spend other people's money than be fair...

David Parker
7923
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David Parker 09/03/13 - 04:18 pm
1
0
I'll dive down there and grab

I'll dive down there and grab keys for a small fee. No promise on if it will fit your lock though.

Riverman1
79682
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Riverman1 09/03/13 - 04:58 pm
2
0
If this were Richmond County

If this were Richmond County you would be arrested for getting the keys out of the canal....or coins out of the fountain.

Little Lamb
43986
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Little Lamb 09/03/13 - 05:37 pm
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Pictures

Hey, it looks like Rob Pavey got to publish some of his vacation pictures. If you click the "Next" button you finally get to see some locks at the Augusta Canal headgates. I noticed one couple put up a combination lock. They did not have any key to toss into the canal. I guess they could shout out the combination to the four winds.

Gage Creed
15812
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Gage Creed 09/03/13 - 09:51 pm
2
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36 left, 24 right, 36

36 left, 24 right, 36 left,

Oh what a winning hand!

Rob Pavey
533
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Rob Pavey 09/05/13 - 07:40 am
0
0
littlelamb, if it weren't for my vacation photos.....

I wouldn't have a clue what the locks at the canal locks were for......but we reporters are always scouring the landscape for stories - so I figured it would be fun to show what the Paris bridge looks like. As far as the idea coming from 'Real Housewives of Beverly Hills,' I don't think so - the Paris folks tell me this has been going on there for decades, perhaps longer.

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