Louvre Reopens After One-Day Closure Due to Overcrowding

May 30, 2019 Updated: May 30, 2019

PARIS—The Louvre museum in Paris reopened to the public on May 29 after being shut down for a day when workers complained about overcrowding and walked out Monday.

Tourists wait in line to visit the Louvre museum as it reopens, Paris, on May 29, 2019. (Thibault Camus/AP Photo)

Union representatives met Wednesday to discuss plans from the museum’s management on how to ease the traffic flow at the world’s most visited museum.

They say the current dispute is linked to renovation work around the “Mona Lisa” painting, which has caused organizational problems, huge queues and the harassment of staff by frustrated tourists.

Unions decided to reopen the museum at 11 a.m., some two hours after its regular start time, after management agreed to bring in 30 more employees on a temporary basis over summer.

Tourists wait in line to visit the Louvre museum as it reopens, Paris, on May 29, 2019. (Thibault Camus/AP Photo)

“Satisfied is not the word. It’s a short-term band-aid dressing to the problems of overcrowding,” said Christian Galani of the CGT Culture union.

“Thirty extra temporary workers will be hired in June. But what we want are permanent civil servant positions to solve the problem once and for all,” he added.

Unions note that staff numbers have dropped over the past decade even though the number of visitors to the Louvre has risen 20%.

Hundreds of frustrated tourists, some who had been waiting several hours in line Wednesday, expressed relief that they would be allowed into the venerable institution. Lauren Berry, a 24-year old tourist from Oxford, Mississippi, said that she and her family had already been turned away from the Louvre on Monday but came back on Wednesday in hopes that it would reopen. The museum is closed on Tuesdays.

“We had planned our entire trip around coming to the Louvre because we are huge art lovers,” Berry said.

Tourists wait in line to visit the Louvre museum as it reopens, Paris, on May 29, 2019. (Thibault Camus/AP Photo)
Tourists wait in line to visit the Louvre museum as it reopens, Paris, on May 29, 2019. (Thibault Camus/AP Photo)
Tourists wait in line to visit the Louvre museum as it reopens, Paris, on May 29, 2019. (Thibault Camus/AP Photo)

The gallery in which the “Mona Lisa” is exhibited is undergoing a months-long renovation.

By The Associated Press

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