Pars Love Locks
Credit: Stephen Simpson/Getty Images

After years of weighing down the city’s bridges, love locks in Paris will get a second life helping refugees in the area.

City officials announced last week that they will auction off love locks sitting in storage and donate the proceeds to benefit refugees in Paris.

Workers began removing the locks from the Pont des Arts and the Pont de l’Archevêché in June 2015. Since then, the 71 tons of metal have done nothing but gather dust. In January, about 11 tons of the locks will be auctioned off to the public at the Crédit Municipal de Paris.

“Members of the public can buy five or ten locks, or even clusters of them, all at an affordable price,” Bruno Julliard, the environment chief at Paris City Hall, told reporters last week. The auction is meant to auction off a part of Paris’s modern history while supporting the refugees living in the Paris area.

Sales are expected to amount to about €100,000 (US$107,250). Any locks that are not sold will be melted and sold. At the moment, there is no exact date set for the auction.

NO LOVE LOCKS, an organization that has been working to get the love locks removed from Paris bridges, called the move “an expression of the true meaning of love in action, and hopes other cities around the world will follow the lead of Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo.”

Paris has actively been expanding their refugee program in the past few months. A temporary refugee camp opened in northern Paris in October. The camp has a capacity of 600 people, although the amount of refugees living in Paris streets is much higher. Another camp is expected to open to house an additional 350 women and children refugees.