Thieves force Louvre to shut its doors
April 11, 2013 -- Updated 1056 GMT (1856 HKT)
Gangs of pickpockets have been targeting staff and visitors at the Louvre, museum staff say.
- Louvre shut Wednesday after staff walked out in protest
- Staff say pickpocket gangs are running rife in the museum
- Louvre operating as normal on Thursday
(CNN) -- Thieves have forced the closure of Paris' Louvre museum. But an art heist was not the reason.
Instead, the closure came after staff walked off the job on Wednesday in protest against the increasing number of pickpockets operating in the museum.
According to a report in The Guardian, the pickpockets work in organized gangs and are targeting both tourists and museum staff with "increasingly violent tactics," including spitting and kicking.
Despite increased co-operation with the police and temporary bans on offenders, pickpocketing remains a growing problem for the museum, staff said.
The Louvre's press department was unavailable for comment early Thursday but a representative of the museum said the Louvre was "open as normal, until 5.30 p.m."
When pressed about yesterday's events, the representative declined to comment further and ended the call.
The Louvre also closed in 2009 and 2001 as a result of staff protests about industrial disputes and working hours.
The protest will be a pressing challenge for new director Jean-Luc Martinez as he takes up the post this coming Monday, taking over from Henri Loyrette.
The museum, home to famous works from masters such as Leonardo da Vinci, is the most visited museum in the world with around 10 million visitors last year.
Visitors should be mindful of their belongings when at the Louvre; Mona Lisa's eyes may not be the only things following you around the room.
The Louvre is open every day (except Tuesday) from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Night opening until 9:45 p.m. on Wednesdays and Fridays.
Musée du Louvre, 75058 Paris - France. www.louvre.fr
Part of complete coverage on
December 3, 2013 -- Updated 0303 GMT (1103 HKT)
Whistler, Chamonix, Aspen -- the best known winter sports resorts have become that for a reason.
More than just the merger of Buda and Pest, the Pearl of the Danube is also the cultural crossroads of Europe's east and west
December 2, 2013 -- Updated 1316 GMT (2116 HKT)
When you sign up to visit the DPRK you have to play by their rules
November 26, 2013 -- Updated 2330 GMT (0730 HKT)
The best places to indulge our second-favorite thing to do with ice.
Top drinking spots with bird's eye views of one of the world's greatest cities
November 26, 2013 -- Updated 0138 GMT (0938 HKT)
Mulled wine, skating on the river, light shows over snow. Some cities are made for winter.
November 22, 2013 -- Updated 1607 GMT (0007 HKT)
Only 800 people a year are allowed to visit Namibia's bleak but beautiful Skeleton Coast, littered with whale bones and crumbling shipwrecks.
November 25, 2013 -- Updated 0515 GMT (1315 HKT)
Or 23 reasons to stop hating and start traveling.
November 24, 2013 -- Updated 0500 GMT (1300 HKT)
Aah, slide shows. How we hated Grandpa's annual two-hour presentation of his trip to the Grand Canyon. But now, don't we kind of miss them?
For 24 hours, we made the world's busiest airport our destination and found a world unto its own. Join us on our journey.
No time and only one stomach? Here's how to conquer this food-loving destination with your belt holes intact.
November 18, 2013 -- Updated 1739 GMT (0139 HKT)
Barmy about bunkers? Crazy about caves? These subterranean sights worldwide are for you.
Today's five most popular stories