Protests close Louvre amid pension strikes
PARIS — Dozens of protesters blocked the entrance to the Louvre museum and forced the famous Paris landmark to close Friday while they denounced the French government’s plans to overhaul the pension system.
The protesters, who included some Louvre employees, staged the demonstration against President Emmanuel Macron’s proposals after several hard-left trade unions appealed for public actions to oppose that they said would “lower everyone’s pensions.”
The museum’s Leonardo da Vinci exhibit marking the 500th anniversary of the Italian master’s death was included in the closure. Some protesters chanted, “Mona Lisa in on strike, Leonardo is on strike.”
It is the first time since railway strikes and protests against the pension overhaul began on Dec. 5 that the Louvre and its Leonardo exhibit were fully shut down. About 30,000 people visit the museum every day.
Some videos on social media showed angry visitors booing at museum protesters to express their disappointment.
Some of those shut out of the Louvre were upset, while a few interviewed expressed solidarity with the strikers.
The action at the Louvre was one of several signs of mounting tensions among strikers.
Several dozen people on Friday invaded the headquarters of the CFDT union, which is favorable to a point-system Macron wants to put in place to determine retirement benefits.
Striking employees demonstrate with a banner reading “Louvre museum on strike” on Friday outside the Louvre museum in Paris.