Painters punt ponte di amore

• Tracy and Phil Harrison with a new lock of love at Claisebrook Cove. Photo by Jeremy Dixon

• Tracy and Phil Harrison with a new lock of love at Claisebrook Cove. Photo by Jeremy Dixon

PERTH city council has been labelled “unromantic” after its painters cut padlocks symbolising unbreakable love from the Claisebrook Cove bridge .

Lord mayor Lisa Scafffidi promises the city will replace the locks.

Heartbroken Phil Harrison told the Voice, “I placed a professionally engraved padlock there for my wife some three years ago,” alongside locks from about a dozen other devoted couples. “It was a great reminder for us whenever we crossed the bridge and our grandkids used to love finding it along the railings.”

The bridge is being painted and the padlocks have been cut off.

“What a petty, unromantic thing for the City of Perth to do,” Mr Harrison said. “It would have been an easy matter for the dozen or so locks on the bridge to be painted around.”

Ms Scaffidi said via email that “upon hearing of their removal I was so very disappointed and I wish to offer those people who will realise their love lock is gone to arrange a replacement via the City”.

She’d said the locks’ whereabouts was unknown, but they likely couldn’t be reused since they’d been sheared in two. She says there are also locks on the Trafalgar Road Bridge and the Belltower wall and she’s enjoying the emerging tradition.

While the notion of lovelocks took off like wildfire in the early 2000s across Italy and France—with some municipal authorities regarding it as vandalism—its origins are thought to lie in pre-WWII Serbia, with young women writing their names and that of their soldier beaux on padlocks and affixing them to what is now known as Most Ljubavi (the Bridge of Love).

“While only a few locks were there I think it is lovely to see people embracing our infrastructure in this way,” Ms Scaffidi says. “It must mean a few moonlight walks are happening on this bridge and hopefully some marriage proposals.”

The lord mayor is asking anyone who suffered a severed padlock to contact Paul Anastas on 9461 3339 for a replacement.

by DAVID BELL

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