The Vancouver Park Board has officially unveiled the much-anticipated love locks sculptures that now call Queen Elizabeth Park home.
The Park Board approved the $50,000 steel mesh-like sculptures back in May. Titled “Love in the Rain,” they depict four genderless, ageless intertwined couples in an embrace and were designed by local artist Bruce Voyce.
Making them genderless and ageless is supposed to represent that “love has no boundaries,” says the Park Board.
The sculptures are part of a solution proposed by the board to prevent people from affixing locks to the Burrard Street Bridge and the False Creek seawall, something that has caused major problems on bridges in other cities around the world like Paris.
“Love lock sculptures are designed specifically for [the locks],” Park Board chair Sarah Kirby-Yung tells Daily Hive. “People who want to express their love that way now have a place to do so.”
A public consultation was held to determine the location of the sculptures, and Queen Elizabeth Park came out on top.
“It’s very popular place – it’s a location that couples like to enjoy and romantically walk through – I think it’s great,” says Kirby-Yung.
Now passersby will be able to show their love through attaching a lock to these sculptures. And in case you’re rushing to be the first to lock your love down, you’ve already been beaten to the punch.
Arvinder Gill and Sukhdeep Uppal from Surrey were the first couple to not only attach an engraved love lock to one of the sculptures, but to get engaged near them on September 5.
Love locks are usually engraved with the couple’s initials – as is the case with Gill and Uppal – and the key is then tossed away to symbolize unbreakable love.
And yes, in case you’re wondering, there’s a receptacle for the keys near the love lock sculptures in Queen Elizabeth Park, and Kirby-Yung says they’ll be melted down and recycled.
The tradition of the now iconic locks dates back to World War I, but they haven’t been without controversy over the last century. A parapet on the Pont Des Arts bridge in Paris collapsed under the weight of hundreds of love locks, prompting officials to remove all of them to prevent further hazards.
Other cities around the world that have love lock sculptures include Toronto, Moscow, and, of course, Paris.