There is officially a little too much love on this particular Parisian bridge.
Part eyesore, part symbol of everlasting affection, the 700,000 metal "love locks" emblazoned with the initials of visiting lovers have been attached to the Pont des Arts footbridge that crosses the Seine River in Paris for seven years or so. Now part of the bridge has collapsed under the weight of the locks.
A five-foot span of the bridge's metal mesh railing came down Sunday night, according to Britain's Telegraph newspaper. (Luckily for the boaters below, it collapsed onto the bridge, not into the water.)
As aptly Parisian as the phenomenon may seem, "love locks" may have been an Italian import — and a recent one at that.
Some trace its rise in popularity to two Italian novels, published in 1992 and 2006: Federico Moccia's "Tre Metri Sopra il Cielo" ("Three Metres Above the Sky") and "Ho Voglia di Te" ("I Desire You"), according to the BBC.
It spread to Russia, and Paris's Pont des Arts and other bridges, as well asfar-flung destinations such as China, Hungary, Germany and Guam.
Seemingly everywhere the craze goes, it brings trouble, or at least some debate.
In 2007, the mayors of Florence and Rome instituted fines as a deterrent against fastening padlocks to their city bridges.
In Paris, the locks spawned a protest campaign called "No Love Locks,"petitioning tourists to stop defacing the city's otherwise unadorned bridges with unsightly locks.