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Cologne city officials are trying to determine the origins of a new romantic phenomenon dubbed “love locks” on a bridge stretching across the Rhine River

Commemorating couples’ devotion to each other, the padlocks of amour on the Hohenzollernbrücke are being studied by Rhineland regional authority (LVR) folklorist Dagmar Hänig.“At first it was only about 10, but then there were more,” she said, adding the first started appearing in the summer of 2008.There are now more than 1,000 locks from lovebirds around the world hanging on a fence along the bridge’s pedestrian path. Some scratch their initials in the metal locks, while others have gone as far as having them professionally engraved to honor anniversaries and weddings. According to the new custom, couples close the Liebesschloss and then toss the key into the Rhine to signify their enduring love. But the origin of the young tradition remains a mystery. (Excerpted from the internet)