Skip to main content

Thieves force Louvre to shut its doors

By Qin Xie, for CNN
April 11, 2013 -- Updated 1056 GMT (1856 HKT)
Gangs of pickpockets have been targeting staff and visitors at the Louvre, museum staff say.
Gangs of pickpockets have been targeting staff and visitors at the Louvre, museum staff say.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • 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

ADVERTISEMENT
Part of complete coverage on
July 18, 2014 -- Updated 0207 GMT (1007 HKT)
Where to pay homage to the cutest local celebrities you'll ever stalk.
July 18, 2014 -- Updated 1310 GMT (2110 HKT)
For air travelers who like to gripe about being cramped in economy, here comes another warning that they've never had it so good.
July 17, 2014 -- Updated 1206 GMT (2006 HKT)
Cream cakes from the Ruszwurm bakery in Budapest, Hungary
Proving they're what's really important, the world's best pastry shops have survived survived sieges, revolutions and World War II.
July 17, 2014 -- Updated 1550 GMT (2350 HKT)
Lois Pryce ignored naysayers and traveled 3,000 miles via motorcycle to discover the real Iran.
July 17, 2014 -- Updated 0320 GMT (1120 HKT)
Built at a cost of $442.2 million, Universal Studios Japan hopes its new Potter attraction will bring in $55 billion over 10 years.
July 16, 2014 -- Updated 1440 GMT (2240 HKT)
A scene in Marrakech
The gateway to Morocco's Atlas Mountains is becoming a photographer's paradise -- but capturing it on camera isn't easy.
July 16, 2014 -- Updated 2136 GMT (0536 HKT)
Cathay Pacific was pronounced the world's best airliner of the year at the industry's leading awards ceremony in Farnborough on Tuesday.
July 15, 2014 -- Updated 2044 GMT (0444 HKT)
Britain has stolen a march in the space race with plans for the world's first spaceport outside the U.S.
July 15, 2014 -- Updated 1453 GMT (2253 HKT)
In the hunt for the world's best amusement park, the people have spoken -- and it seems the people like mixing with creatures who eat a lot of fish.
July 15, 2014 -- Updated 0611 GMT (1411 HKT)
An Hellenic Seaplanes aircraft
Seaplane network set to open up far-flung destinations to affordable jet-setting tours.
July 14, 2014 -- Updated 2052 GMT (0452 HKT)
A man who took a dangerous selfie during the running of the bulls in Pamplona, with the half-ton beasts right behind him, is still on the run -- but this time from the police.
July 15, 2014 -- Updated 0207 GMT (1007 HKT)
Its cramped rooms and retro lobby are dated, but its charm and devotion to customers are worth preserving.
July 14, 2014 -- Updated 0553 GMT (1353 HKT)
A young girl sits on a bench decorated with an image of Paddington Bear.
As part of a scheme to encourage reading, 50 benches designed in the style of popular novels or kids' stories have been scattered around London.
July 12, 2014 -- Updated 0101 GMT (0901 HKT)
To all the locals who have been hoarding the following beaches, please forgive us.
July 16, 2014 -- Updated 1310 GMT (2110 HKT)
Jason Hullinger, a computer security architect in Los Angeles, went to Joshua Tree National Park in December to catch the Geminid meteor shower.
CNN iReporters from across the globe share their incredible images of the skies above us.
ADVERTISEMENT