The Pont des Arts
or Passerelle des Arts
is a pedestrian bridge
which crosses the Seine
River. It links the Institut de France
and the central square (cour carrée
) of thepalais du Louvre
, (which had been termed the "Palais des Arts" under the First Empire
Many tourist couples have taken to attaching padlocks with their first names written or engraved on it to the railing or the grate on the side of the bridge, then throwing the key into the Seine river below, as a romantic gesture.
This gesture is said to represent a couple's committed love.
The City of Paris has not yet adopted a definitive policy on how to deal with this new fad. The French police have been known to patrol this bridge to stop keys from being thrown into the river.