|A worker welds protective metalwork to the handrail supports on the Accademia Bridge|
It seems that the problem of "love locks" on the Accademia Bridge has finally and definitively been solved. A world-wide phenomenon, variously blamed on a fairly recent Italian novel or an old tale of lost love from decades ago, these locks adorned with a couple's names are supposed to symoblize eternal attachment.
|A handrail support as it was a year ago|
There were so many hanging heavily on the Pont Des Art Bridge in Paris that their weight caused part of the railing to collapse last summer (http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-27758940
). Nothing so dramatic happened here, but Venetians still hated them, and in late August Venetian writer Alberto Toso Fei led a public information campaign against them. Flyers and stickers and ribbons were posted around the city informing visitors that the locks were nothing but vandalism and encouraging them to find less destructive and onerous (to the city) ways to express their love (http://www.theguardian.com/travel/2014/sep/10/love-locks-around-the-world
But while the pen is supposed to be mightier than the sword, city officials seem to have come to the reasonable conclusion that in this particular case some preventive metalwork might be mightier still.
|The same handrail support yesterday with the defensive metalwork|
In recent weeks thousands of the locks have been cut off the Accademia Bridge and workers are now just completing the process of welding wide bands of stainless steel onto each of the slender curving rails once so perfectly suited to the locks. The new additions make for a slightly more noticeable handrail support, but they are nowhere near as unsightly as the locks.
Of course some visiting romantics may bewail the new metalwork, but I think it returns the responsibility for a memorable experience back to where it belongs: into the minds (if not literal hands) of the lovers, rather than an enterprising street vendor hawking a ready-made clichè. If, as they stand on one of the most charming vantage points in the city, nothing memorable or charged happens in the shared private space all lovers create between themselves then no outward sign--no matter how conventional or obnoxious or gaudy or public--will matter.
It's going to be such a treat to see this bridge sans those flippin' locks.ReplyDelete
So, what is the vendor selling now, in lieu of locks?
The hot new item everywhere around town, Yvonne, is what I think is called the "selfie stick": a telescoping holder for your smartphone that allows one a greater reach from which to photograph one's own lovely mug. They didn't exist a short time ago, and now they are everywhere.Delete
Cable ties to fix the lock to the new stanchion? :-)ReplyDelete
What is love without cable ties, Rob? I believe Shakespeare was the first one to ask that question. Or maybe Petrarch. But one of those guys... In any case, if you're feeling enterprising you can set up a little business for cable ties on the bridge and (at least for now) have the market entirely to yourself!Delete
Great news - but let's see if the vendors give up.ReplyDelete
Well, they've given up the locks, Sasha, but there's always some other item. See "selfie sticks" above.Delete
Speaking of vendors...I once started telling a woman about to buy a lock that it was a stupid thing and that Venetians hate what she was about to do. The vendor, probably from Bangladesh, became very aggressive and started walking towards me in a threatening way. A case of the missing police action, not sure what those "vigili" do in Venice. Why they allowed all this I am not sure. A post suggestion...the disgusting mess every year is done in Piazza Santa Margherita during the celebration for the college graduations. The police force stays clear of the area, let it get splattered with all sorts of food items, and when residents complains they made excuses. I will be in Venice in 4 weeks, can't wait to walk over the bridge again.ReplyDelete
The good news, Laura, is that I haven't noticed quite so many vendors selling items of any sort on the Accademia Bridge lately. They're probably bound to return, but at least they won't be selling locks anymore and the next time you see the bridge it will be lock free.Delete