UK & World News

  • 10 April 2013, 22:00

Louvre Closed: Pickpockets Spark Staff Walkout

Staff at France's most famous museum, the Louvre, have gone on strike - forcing it to close.

The staff were protesting at what they describe as the increasing problem of pickpockets at work in the Paris museum's vast galleries.

Louvre spokeswoman Sophie Grange confirmed the museum, which normally attracts up to 30,000 visitors a day at this time of year, closed for the day.

However, the museum is set to reopen on Thursday after management agreed to boost police presence around the building, according to Christelle Guyader of the SUD union.

The Louvre said it could not give a figure for the number of pickpocketing victims at the museum.

The Paris institution claims to be the world's most visited museum, with nearly 10 million visitors last year.

It opened in 1793 with an exhibition of 537 paintings and now houses some of the most famous artworks in the world.

Among them is the ancient Greek statue, the Venus de Milo and, arguably, the world's most famous picture of all: Leonardo da Vinci's Mona Lisa.