The Louvre closed as workers went on strike to protest pension reforms.
Protesters outside the iconic pyramid designed by I.M. Pei at the Louvre museum hold a banner that reads, in French: “Louvre Museum on Strike.” Photo by Alain Jocard/AFP via Getty Images.
A strike outside of the Louvre Friday morning blocked the entrance to the Paris museum, forcing it to close and frustrating visitors who had come to see a blockbuster exhibition celebrating the 500th anniversary of Leonardo da Vinci’s death. Over 100 demonstrators, including Louvre employees and other culture sector workers, joined together to protest a planned pension reform. According to the Associated Press, some of them sang: “Mona Lisa is on strike, Leonardo is on strike.”
Although strikes against the pension reform have been ongoing since early December, when they forced many other museums to close, Friday’s strike marked the first time the Louvre had to close due to the demonstrations. While some frustrated tourists booed the strike, protestors remained in high spirits, holding banners and singing songs. Those protesting are also calling for “better employment conditions and higher wages,” according to Le Parisien.
The Louvre posted on its website: “Due to public strikes, the museum may open later and some exhibition rooms may remain closed.” The museum had offered full refunds to visitors who couldn’t get inside. The Louvre is the most-visited museum in the world, with 30,000 to 50,000 visitors each day.