The large one strike against the reform of the Emmanuel Macron Government pension system, which lasts 44 days, has sometimes caused the closure of tourist sites such as the Eiffel Tower. Some museums in Paris have also chosen at certain times to close certain rooms or representations, including the Louvre. But never since the protests began, on December 5, until now, the most visited museum in the world had been forced to remain completely closed, as it did this Friday. The reason: a picket located at the entrance, the iconic glass pyramid of I.M. Pei, which prevented thousands of visitors from entering, including those arriving from other parts of France or abroad to see the Leonardo Da Vinci exhibition, for which they had reserved a ticket for months.
“It’s in the very heart of the Louvre Pyramid, where the president of the Republic Emmanuel Macron decided to consecrate his investiture, which stands against him a strong union opposition front against his disastrous pension orientations, ”union organizations said in a statement calling for this peculiar protest under the slogan“ all culture to the street ”.
The strikers, who displayed a black banner with the slogan “Strike Louvre Museum” blocking the entrance to the museum, launched proclamations to the surprised visitors throughout the day, who saw how their plans to spend the day in the most popular museum in the world - which in 2019 received 9.6 million visits - were frustrated. A situation that created not a few moments of tension, especially among those who had arrived from other parts of France or even abroad -Last year, 75% of visits were from foreigners coming mainly from the United States, China, Spain, Germany, Italy and the United Kingdom, according to the institution— to see the much sought-after exhibition of Da Vinci, whose tickets, which can only be purchased by reservation, have been sold out for some time.
“Many people come from everywhere for this exhibition. I love France, but today I detest it. I don't understand why the police don't do their job, ”said Mila, a Spaniard who could not enter the exhibition, to the France Presse Agency. In them was Marie, who also made great efforts to travel from Caen to Paris to see the sample of Da Vinci. “We came by train, we booked everything in October, but our train was suppressed (by the strike), so we bought another ticket because it was easier than making the change. Tonight we have to pay for the hotel. And all that to see Leonardo, which in the end we will not see, ”he lamented.
The Louvre, which closes on Fridays at 22:00 on an exceptional basis, has said that if the entrance cleared, it was ready to open as long as possible, but after 6:00 pm the picket had not yet dispersed. A press spokeswoman told this newspaper that those affected will be reimbursed for the entrance fee and explained that they are trying to see options to offer other dates for the visit to the Da Vinci exhibition, but that at the moment it was not possible because The exhibition is complete until its closing on February 24.
Despite the problems that have caused visitors, the strikers justify their protest alleging the "day-to-day degradation" of the conditions of the museum agents, especially the "loss of troops, precariousness and withdrawal from the State." Reasons, they affirm in their communiqué, that it makes them impossible to accept the proposal of pension reform to a universal system by points of the Government, and that, they affirm, “only seeks to lower the pensions of all”.