Louvre Museum shuts for day as guards protest pickpockets

People enjoy the snow in front of Paris landmark, the Pyramid of the Louvre Museum, January 20, 2013, after several inches of snow fell on the French capital halting bus transportation and closing
Guards at Paris’ Louvre forced the museum to close for the day.

Tourists caught no glimpse of the Mona Lisa, Winged Victory or Venus de Milo on Wednesday 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, 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 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.



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
National

Is #JusticeForAvaLynn a case of bullying?

On Saturday, the hashtag #JusticeForAvaLynn became one of the trending topics on Twitter. Users circulated the above photo of 5-year-old AvaLynn, posted by her mother…

International

Terrorism could spread to US and Europe in…

Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah said terrorism would soon spread to Europe and the United States unless it is quickly dealt with in the Middle East,…

National

Ex-Bitcoin official to plead guilty to Silk Road…

Bitcoin entrepreneur Charlie Shrem has reached a plea deal to resolve U.S. charges that he engaged in a scheme to sell over $1 million of…

International

China's army changes tactics to prepare for war…

Chinese President Xi Jinping has said China will spur military innovation and called on the army to create a new strategy for "information warfare" as…

Gossip

Joan Rivers on life support: Report

TMZ reports that comedian Joan Rivers has been placed on life support, "completely reliant on machines to stay alive." Rivers has been hospitalized since she…

Movies

What's new on Netflix in September

September has a supernatural theme for Netflix. UFO "documentaries" and the survivalist reality series "Doomsday Preppers" are among the new series coming to the online…

Going Out

'Friends' coffeehouse Central Perk coming to NYC —…

"Friends" is coming back for a one-off special: "The One with the Free Coffee." Warner Bros. is bringing a pop-up replica of Central Perk, the…

Movies

Interview: 'As Above, So Below' directors: 5 ways…

The fraternal directors of the found footage horror "As Above, So Below" dish on the best ways to frighten the bejesus out of audiences.

NFL

3 things we learned in the Giants preseason…

The final score didn’t matter — a 16-13 win by the Giants — but it would’ve been nice to finally see Big Blue’s new-look offense get on track.

NFL

NFL Power Rankings: Seahawks, Broncos, Patriots, 49ers start…

NFL Power Rankings: Seahawks, Broncos, Patriots start at top

U.S. Soccer

5 facts about new England captain Wayne Rooney

Manchester United striker Wayne Rooney was named as the new England captain by coach Roy Hodgson on Thursday.

NFL

Jets vs. Eagles: 3 things to watch

A win on Thursday night at the Eagles would give the Jets a 3-1 record and just their second winning preseason under head coach Rex Ryan.

Wellbeing

VIDEO: Still not wearing sunscreen? You will after…

Sunscreen is possibly the most often repeated - and ignored - piece of skincare advice. But Thomas Leveritt took a different tactic. With a short…

Food

Twitter used to track down sources of food…

When Chicago health officials saw Twitter users complaining about local food poisoning episodes, they reached out on Twitter to those users and often ended up…

Style

Trend: White hot on the 2014 Emmy's red…

White was one of the big trends on the Emmy's red carpet.

Food

Recipe: Samuel Adams beer-marinated grilled shrimp

Summer calls for two things: a cold beer and light food. Sam Adams' Latitude 48 IPA fairly bursts with citrus notes, making it an ideal marinade…