Protests close Lou­vre amid pen­sion strikes

Antelope Valley Press - - SECOND FRONT -

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.

ASSOCIATED PRESS

Strik­ing em­ploy­ees demon­strate with a ban­ner read­ing “Lou­vre mu­seum on strike” on Friday out­side the Lou­vre mu­seum in Paris.

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