Pickpocket plague closes Louvre

PARIS — The Louvre was closed Wednesday after its workers walked off their jobs to protest what is said to be a rising problem of pickpockets haunting the famed Paris museum’s vast galleries.

Louvre spokeswoman Sophie Grange was unable to say when the museum, which normally attracts up to 30,000 visitors a day at this time of year, would reopen. Museum staff organized the protest to draw attention to the problem, which they say is hindering their ability to welcome visitors and protect the Louvre’s collections.

Crowds of disappointed tourists gathered outside the museum on Wednesday.

“We’ve been cheated,” said Mariam Kamel, 16, a student from the International School in Bellevue, Washington, who was attempting to see the museum while on a class trip.

Kamel’s teacher, Rhonda Eastman, said she’d given specific instructions to her students to avoid being pickpocketed while in Paris.

“On the metro they no longer speak English, they don’t stand together, they’re snobs,” Eastman said.

Louvre officials could not provide an exact figure for the number of pickpocketing victims there, but the museum said in a statement that it was a growing problem despite measures taken last year including tighter cooperation with the police. The Louvre said it would crack down on repeat offenders through temporary bans on entry into the museum.

The Louvre claims to be the world’s most visited museum, with nearly 10 million visitors last year.

More in Local News

A wobbly calf grows into a 1,800-pound Lake Stevens behemoth

A shaggy and sometimes cranky bison is the last of his herd. He lives amid encroaching suburbia.

Elderly couple escape serious injuries in crash with train

The driver drove down tracks instead of a road, hitting a slow-moving train near Stanwood.

Officials ID man shot and killed in apparent Everett robbery

Police believe the victim may have known the shooter, who drove away before the officers arrived.

Man, 60, in critical condition after Bothell crash

Police believe the driver may have been speeding when he hit a rock wall.

Missing Marysville woman found safe out of state

A Marysville senior who was reported missing in March has… Continue reading

FBI operation arrests 3 linked to exploitation of 32 women

The sting focused on Everett and other cities in Snohomish, King, Pierce, Skagit and Spokane counties.

Front Porch

EVENTS Seahawks event postponed A Toys for Tots Blue Friday fundraiser that… Continue reading

Friend or stranger, Sikhs extend hand to those in need

Sikhs have accepted people of all backgrounds as equals, regardless of race, social class or religion.

Theft lands former insurance salesman 50 days in jail

A former insurance salesman is expected to report to jail… Continue reading

Most Read