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
Part of complete coverage on
April 3, 2014 -- Updated 0049 GMT (0849 HKT)
As the new season of "Game of Thrones" approaches, we pick out 20 stunning spots in one of its most oft-used locations.
April 10, 2014 -- Updated 0940 GMT (1740 HKT)
They're hot, they're popular, they're stylish. Now they're your tour guides to Italy's fashion capital.
April 8, 2014 -- Updated 0410 GMT (1210 HKT)
A quarter of the year's flown by, it's time to plan a vacation. TripAdvisor's list of Top Destinations should help.
April 8, 2014 -- Updated 0523 GMT (1323 HKT)
You may not have those $10 Heinekens and $6 bags of M&M's to kick around anymore. Happy now?
April 7, 2014 -- Updated 0725 GMT (1525 HKT)
Japan isn't a country to which you just show up and wing it. Here's how to arrive prepared.
April 3, 2014 -- Updated 1402 GMT (2202 HKT)
The Economist is latest to dogpile on the reputation of U.S. airports; one industry leader says he knows why.
April 4, 2014 -- Updated 0623 GMT (1423 HKT)
Laojun Mountain Natural Reserve gave out bags of mountain air to Chinese residents. After seeing these photos, you'll want some too.
April 2, 2014 -- Updated 1304 GMT (2104 HKT)
Forget space. Our very own planet is ripe for investigation. Here are some of the spots we know least about.
March 31, 2014 -- Updated 0651 GMT (1451 HKT)
A colossal empire of little houses stacked on top of each other, connected by staircases snaking under dangling wires -- Kowloon Walled City in Hong Kong.
April 2, 2014 -- Updated 0141 GMT (0941 HKT)
Move to squeeze in extra passengers brings dose of economic reality to dreams of luxuriously pimped aircraft.
April 1, 2014 -- Updated 0803 GMT (1603 HKT)
British sound engineer wants you to ditch the camera and open your ears to "sound tourism."
March 30, 2014 -- Updated 2256 GMT (0656 HKT)
Think bouncing on the end of an elastic rope is tough? Try jumping off a wooden tower with only a vine tied to your ankle.
March 28, 2014 -- Updated 0538 GMT (1338 HKT)
Decimated by poaching, black rhino numbers are starting to increase again, thanks, in part, to on-foot tracking tours for tourists.
March 28, 2014 -- Updated 0259 GMT (1059 HKT)
Singapore Changi Airport has been crowned the best in the world for the second year in a row at the World Airport Awards.
March 24, 2014 -- Updated 2202 GMT (0602 HKT)
What do you get when you combine 60,000 photos, eight-hour cliff treks and months of patient processing? One of the year's great time-lapse videos.
Today's five most popular stories