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Louvre reopens after strike action, but only to people with pre-paid tickets

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Louvre reopens after strike action, but only to people with pre-paid tickets
Tourists queuing outside the Louvre on Wednesday. Photo: The Local
11:38 CEST+02:00
The Louvre in Paris opened later than normal on Wednesday as a meeting was held to decide on next steps after Monday's strike by reception and security staff saw the museum closed for the day.

On Wednesday the Louvre's official Twitter account announced that the museum would be open later than usual due to a "general meeting attended by members of the Musée du Louvre's reception and security staff".

The museum finally opened at about 11am, but said that due to the crowds, only people with pre-booked time-slot tickets will be admitted on Wednesday.

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The meeting was to decide the next steps after reception and security staff went on strike on Monday, leading to the museum's closure, which left thousands of tourists disappointed.

"Staff will meet in a general meeting on Wednesday morning to decide what to do next depending on the responses we get from the museum and ministry management," the Sud Culture Solidaires union told The Local on Monday.

According to CGT-Culture National Secretary Christian Galani, the workers had decided to walk out after a discussion of grievances during a training session on Monday morning.
 
On Wednesday he told the Local: "The management suggested a series of measures to the employees yesterday, which they discussed during a lively general meeting this morning."
 
He added that the employees ultimately decided to try out the measures, which included the implementation of a system of mandatory reservations, the hiring of an additional 30 staff members and spreading out the calendar of numerous construction and renovation projects, which employees say increase tension and crowding in the museum. 
 
But while museum employees discussed museum's proposals, the tourists who were queuing outside said there had been no information on when the museum would open.
 
 

One family visiting from the US said they had been waiting for over three hours, and had also tried to visit on Monday.

Rohan Mekala, from Edison, New Jersey, said: “We were here all Monday morning, from about 8:30-11:30. Nobody told us what was going on, they just kept telling us to wait longer and longer.

“My mom has been sitting down because she can't stand in line for too long. She had her ACL (anterior cruciate ligament) operated on, so she can't stand in line for hours like us.”
 
His sister Revathi Mekala said: “They're not telling anybody anything. They just want the lines to get longer and longer so they can use us as leverage.
 
“We bought two-day museum passes at €48 a pop to get out of waiting in line. If we can't use it today, it will be a waste of money as we fly back tonight."
 
Their father Nara added: “They should give notification. Like this, the public is punished.”


The Mekala family from New Jersey waiting outside the Louvre. Photo: The Local

The reason for the strike was the "suffocating" conditions which staff say is caused by overcrowding, with the number of tourists jumping by 20 percent since 2009, as well as a shortage of staff. Click here to read more about their grievances.

In a statement released on Monday the union Sud Culture Solidaires said: "The Louvre is suffocating" and that staff members have noticed a "deterioration in conditions for visitors and workers". 

On Wednesday, the Louvre also advised visitors to reserve their ticket online due to the fact that "high visitor numbers are expected over the coming days."

The Louvre is normally open from 9am - 9.45pm on Wednesdays.

 

 
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