Current Weather
The Spy FM

Mon Dieu! Louvre Shuts For A Day Over Pickpockets

Filed by KOSU News in World News.
April 10, 2013

If you tried to visit the Louvre on Wednesday, you’d have been disappointed.

In fact, even a visit to the museum’s website got you this message:

“Due to exceptional circumstances, the Louvre museum is currently closed. We apologize for the inconvenience and will keep you informed when the museum opens again.”

Those “exceptional circumstances” were a strike by more than 100 workers at the world’s most-visited museum. The reason: increasingly aggressive pickpockets who target both visitors and staff.

The Guardian reports:

“A union official said staff were afraid of organised gangs, which had become increasingly aggressive and included minors who could access the museum for free. Some complained of being spat at, insulted, threatened or kicked, saying thieves had become more violent.

“The Louvre, which had 10 million visitors last year, would normally draw 30,000 a day at this time of year to see works including Leonardo da Vinci’s Mona Lisa.”

Crowds of disappointed tourists gathered outside the museum.

“We’ve been cheated,” Mariam Kamel, 16, a student from the International School in Bellevue, Wash., who was on a class trip to the museum, told The Associated Press.

Her teacher, Rhonda Eastman, said she’d instructed students on how to avoid being pickpocketed while in Paris.

“On the metro they no longer speak English, they don’t stand together, they’re snobs,” she told the AP.

It’s not the first time a strike has closed the doors to the museum, which is open every day, except Tuesdays, Christmas Day, New Year’s Day and May Day. The Louvre was closed for a week in 2001 because of a strike over working hours; in 2009, workers protested plans not to replace retiring public workers.

The museum is scheduled to reopen Thursday. [Copyright 2013 NPR]

Leave a Reply

7AM to 9AM Weekend Edition

Weekend Edition

From civil wars in Bosnia and El Salvador, to hospital rooms, police stations, and America\'s backyards, National Public Radio's Peabody Award-winning correspondent Scott Simon brings a well-traveled perspective to his role as host of Weekend Edition Saturday.

Listen Live Now!

9AM to 10AM Car Talk

Car Talk

View the program guide!

10AM to 11AM Wait Wait...Don't Tell Me!

Wait Wait...Don't Tell Me!

Peter Sagal and Carl Kasell host the weekly NPR News quiz show alongside some of the best and brightest news and entertainment personalities.

View the program guide!

Upcoming Events in your area (Submit your event today!)

Streaming audio and podcasts

Stream KOSU on your smartphone

Phone Streaming

SmartPhone listening options on this page are intended for many iPhones, Blackberries, etc. with low-cost software applications available to listen to our full-time web streams, both News on KOSU-1 and Classical on KOSU-2.

Learn more about our complete range of streaming services

We're perfecting the patient experience - Stillwater Medical Center