PARIS (AP) – The Louvre Museum in Paris was closed to the public on Monday as workers took part in a wave of French strikes against the government’s plans to reform the pension system.
Dozens of Louvre employees blocked the entrance, prompting the museum to announce it was temporarily closed.
The demonstrators waved banners and flags in front of the famous pyramid of the Louvre, where President Emmanuel Macron celebrated his presidential victory in 2017. They demanded the repeal of the new retirement law that raises the retirement age from 62 to 64 years.
The economic, audiovisual and cultural branch of the CGT union tweeted an image of the Mona Lisa with an aged and wrinkled face with the words: “64 She is a no!”
The measure comes on the eve of another nationwide protest scheduled for Tuesday against the bill – and as Macron holds a meeting with Prime Minister Elisabeth Borne to discuss the way forward. Since the Louvre is still closed on Tuesdays, the staff made a demonstration the day before.
Some tourists were hesitant in the face of the technical blockade.
“If you believe so strongly that it will bring about change, there are many other things we can see in Paris,” said Brittney Tate, a 29-year-old doctoral student from California.
Others who have traveled thousands of miles have been more blunt about the downsides.
“We’ll respect their strike tomorrow, but it’s heartbreaking to do it today,” said Karma Cardan, a tourist from Fort Myers, Florida. We knew the Palace of Versailles wouldn’t open due to the protest, but we knew the Louvre was open.
She added, “I understand why they are upset, but (it is wrong) to do this to people all over the world who traveled from all over the world for this and paid thousands of dollars.”