Louvre shuts over pickpocket protest

Last updated 08:33 11/04/2013
Louvre_Landscape
REUTERS/Christian Hartmann

People enjoy the snow in front of Paris landmark, the Pyramid of the Louvre Museum.

Related Links

The hidden gems of Paris Unusual Paris tours: Secrets of the city of love Abu Dhabi to open Louvre in 2013 Paris unpicks padlocks of love

Relevant offers

Travel Troubles

Man stopped from boarding flight with chainsaw as luggage Israeli court stands up for woman in airline gender seat swap case US passenger tried to open emergency exit mid-flight A boom in midair - then 90 scary minutes on AirAsia plane that shook 'like a washing machine' Jetstar apologises to female doctor after flight booking system assumes she is a man Cockroaches filmed running over seats on board a plane People broke into my hotel room at 3.30am, and no one cared Barcelona, Berlin, Rome and Venice: The cities that are sick of tourists Christchurch family pays another $13,500 after fog cancelled flight Science Says: Why some airplanes don't fly in high heat

Tourists caught no glimpse of the Mona Lisa, Winged Victory or Venus de Milo due to a one-day closure of the Louvre, as guards protested that pickpockets were rampant at the world's most visited museum.

Two hundred museum guards exercised their right to a work stoppage, forcing the museum to shut its doors for the day, union representatives said.

The CGT union said guards were "fed up" by attacks and threats directed at them and visitors over the past few months by pickpockets.

The secretary general of the national union for museums (SNMD), David Maillard, said petty thieves were multiplying at the site, visited by nearly 9 million people each year.

"There are thefts and threats every day. The guards are fed up with being assaulted by pickpockets," Maillard told Reuters, adding that the unions want better security at the museum.

The Louvre, which confirmed the closure on its website, could not be immediately reached for comment, but unions said the museum would reopen on Thursday.

Paris police regularly patrol the city's most crowded tourist sites, such as the Eiffel Tower and the Louvre.

But thieves who often operate in organized gangs are a constant frustration for authorities as they are easily able to exploit tourists and can lose themselves in crowds.

Many of those arrested do not hold French nationality or are minors, complicating judicial pursuit.

The Louvre posts signs warning against pickpockets at its entrances.

Ad Feedback

- Reuters

Special offers

Featured Promotions

Sponsored Content