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
August 28, 2014 -- Updated 0417 GMT (1217 HKT)
Scrap all those other bucket lists you've been compiling and start saving -- these memorable-for-a-lifetime trips don't come cheap, or easy.
August 28, 2014 -- Updated 0140 GMT (0940 HKT)
A squabble over a device that limits how far a seat can recline has brought inflight etiquette into the spotlight again.
August 29, 2014 -- Updated 1023 GMT (1823 HKT)
Thirst for victory competes with thirst for booze in event where competitors raise their glasses long before they cross the finish line.
August 28, 2014 -- Updated 0957 GMT (1757 HKT)
At these fun Los Angeles bars, the the drinks come with a chaser of kitsch.
August 28, 2014 -- Updated 2041 GMT (0441 HKT)
From dining next to massive predators to drinking atop a rock in the middle of the ocean, Africa boasts some of the most interesting places to eat.
August 28, 2014 -- Updated 0512 GMT (1312 HKT)
Just weeks after Bill HIllman, known as a veteran, expert bull runner, was badly gored in Pamplona, he's back at other smaller bull runnings in Spain, but walking with a cane.
August 28, 2014 -- Updated 1654 GMT (0054 HKT)
Don't like the country you live in? Why not create your own, as many people have done. We uncover the parallel world of "micronationalism."
August 19, 2014 -- Updated 1341 GMT (2141 HKT)
Grab a glimpse of the near future. Plans for the desert city of Lusail include man-made islands and a host arena for the 2022 FIFA World Cup.
August 27, 2014 -- Updated 0124 GMT (0924 HKT)
A CNN producer experiences China's poor on-time flight record firsthand as his plane takes off eight hours late.
August 26, 2014 -- Updated 0600 GMT (1400 HKT)
New Yorker Kerrin Rousset's exploration of Swiss city aims to lure cocoa fans over to the dark side.
August 25, 2014 -- Updated 2039 GMT (0439 HKT)
Some things are just better after dark. These experiences around the world prove it.
August 25, 2014 -- Updated 1559 GMT (2359 HKT)
Lebanon's winemakers are adopting new tactics to get their products noticed.
August 25, 2014 -- Updated 0626 GMT (1426 HKT)
Spooks have left their mark on a once-divided city still thought to be an espionage hotbed.
August 24, 2014 -- Updated 2206 GMT (0606 HKT)
With more than 6,000 years of history, Nanjing is one of the few cities in China still practicing the country's endangered traditional crafts.
Today's five most popular stories