Thieves force Louvre to shut its doors
April 11, 2013 -- Updated 1056 GMT (1856 HKT)
Gangs of pickpockets have been targeting staff and visitors at the Louvre, museum staff say.
- Louvre shut Wednesday after staff walked out in protest
- Staff say pickpocket gangs are running rife in the museum
- Louvre operating as normal on Thursday
(CNN) -- Thieves have forced the closure of Paris' Louvre museum. But an art heist was not the reason.
Instead, the closure came after staff walked off the job on Wednesday in protest against the increasing number of pickpockets operating in the museum.
According to a report in The Guardian, the pickpockets work in organized gangs and are targeting both tourists and museum staff with "increasingly violent tactics," including spitting and kicking.
Despite increased co-operation with the police and temporary bans on offenders, pickpocketing remains a growing problem for the museum, staff said.
The Louvre's press department was unavailable for comment early Thursday but a representative of the museum said the Louvre was "open as normal, until 5.30 p.m."
When pressed about yesterday's events, the representative declined to comment further and ended the call.
The Louvre also closed in 2009 and 2001 as a result of staff protests about industrial disputes and working hours.
The protest will be a pressing challenge for new director Jean-Luc Martinez as he takes up the post this coming Monday, taking over from Henri Loyrette.
The museum, home to famous works from masters such as Leonardo da Vinci, is the most visited museum in the world with around 10 million visitors last year.
Visitors should be mindful of their belongings when at the Louvre; Mona Lisa's eyes may not be the only things following you around the room.
The Louvre is open every day (except Tuesday) from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Night opening until 9:45 p.m. on Wednesdays and Fridays.
Musée du Louvre, 75058 Paris - France. www.louvre.fr
Today's five most popular stories
Part of complete coverage on
November 24, 2014 -- Updated 0118 GMT (0918 HKT)
These quirky and beautiful subway stops make standing cheek-to-cheek with 45 strangers almost seem fun.
November 21, 2014 -- Updated 1314 GMT (2114 HKT)
Luxury vintage Land Rover tours explore Bedouin backwaters without bashing up precious dunes.
November 20, 2014 -- Updated 0250 GMT (1050 HKT)
Cities around the world have closed the brew gap, but the Oregon city's innovative scene continues to lead the beer parade.
November 19, 2014 -- Updated 2249 GMT (0649 HKT)
From gourmet hotdogs to Sevillian tapas, the food served in these London restaurants is worth lining up for.
November 20, 2014 -- Updated 1545 GMT (2345 HKT)
Plans are underway to build the world's tallest -- and quite possibly most terrifying -- roller coaster at an Orlando, Florida, theme park due to open in 2017.
November 18, 2014 -- Updated 1932 GMT (0332 HKT)
The 7th Annual Cruise Critic Editors' Picks Awards highlight the top cruise lines for North American travelers in 18 categories.
November 19, 2014 -- Updated 0206 GMT (1006 HKT)
Joining the ranks of pilgrims tackling Adam's Peak rewards with a spiritual awakening, or at least a stunning sunrise.
November 18, 2014 -- Updated 1313 GMT (2113 HKT)
Beautifully designed travel document reveals image of Northern Lights when placed under UV light.
November 18, 2014 -- Updated 0525 GMT (1325 HKT)
New concept offering luxury rooms in ancient dwellings helps spare beautiful villages from falling into ruin.
November 21, 2014 -- Updated 2247 GMT (0647 HKT)
Are you the butcher or the cattle? Tainted meat-obsessed fans are following the tracks of their favorite "Walking Dead" survivors.
November 17, 2014 -- Updated 0521 GMT (1321 HKT)
People never cease to find amazing ways to make water more incredible than it already is. Here are some powerful examples