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Museum staff force Louvre to close over Coronavirus fears

Staff at Louvre voted “almost unanimously” not to open on Sunday over safety concerns about prevention measures linked to Coronavirus.

With 130 cases now reported in France, the French government took steps at the weekend to ban large indoor gatherings with over 5,000 attendees.

Staff held a meeting on Sunday morning to discuss their concerns, stating that the museum welcomes more than 5,000 people a day.

Above: Louvre is the world’s most popular museum (Shutterstock)

“We are very worried because we have visitors from everywhere,” said Union official Andre Sacristin. “The risk is very, very, very great.” While there are no known infections among the museum’s 2,300 workers, “it’s only a question of time”.

He added that staff were also concerned about the museum workers from Northern Italy, the worst effected area in Europe.

The museum had planned to open after a meeting between staff, management and the staff doctor, but they later announced that they would remain closed.

On Monday the museum failed to reopen, posting a message on it’s website and social media channels stating “An informational meeting on the public health situation linked to Covid-19 prevention measures following the ministerial instructions transmitted by the competent authorities has delayed the opening of the #Louvre on Monday, March 2.”

No further information was given about when the museum might reopen.

With Coronavirus now reported in over 60 countries, could other museum workers around the world walk out over safety concerns?

About the author – Rebecca Carlsson

Rebecca Carlsson is a journalist writing extensively about the arts. She has a passion for modern art and when she’s not writing about museums, she can be found spending her weekends in them.

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