There has been much publicity in recent years about love locks on bridges as love locks have emerged around the world. This particular bridge is in Paris but similar scenes can be seen in places like Melbourne now as well.
Concerns have been raised by authorities about the impact of the locks on the bridge with possible damage to the architecture as the locks weigh down the bridge and can even affect its structure. In many places these love locks are now seen as not endearing at all, but rather as a form of property damage.
Reports suggest that the love locks have a relatively recent history. First reports seem to be from approximately 100 years ago in Serbia when a local school teacher fell in love with a soldier who went to war. Her love for him broke her heart and she died. Local girls decided to protect themselves from such a fate by attaching locks with their own name and their lover's names to bridges.
A resurgence of love locks began around 2000 in pockets around Europe. There seems to be no pattern to the reasons why they appear in some places and not others but the book and film "I want you" is accredited with love locks appearing on a bridge in Rome following the release of the book and film.
Perhaps part of the attraction at the moment is that the love locks are such a stark contrast to modern ways of communicating. During times of change and pressure it can be affirming to go back to traditional rituals and the love locks might be one way that people can do this. A visible marker of one's love that is there in a public place for all to see is in stark contrast to the transitory nature of modern communication through social media. The breaking of local rules to place the lock on the bridge despite authority's efforts to stop it could also add to the appeal.