Paris's Louvre reopens after staff walkout over pickpockets

Paris's Louvre reopens after staff walkout over pickpockets

PARIS - Agence France-Presse
Pariss Louvre reopens after staff walkout over pickpockets

A picture taken on April 10, 2013 shows the Louvre's pyramide, one of the entrance to the Louvre museum as the reception staff called a strike due to pickpockets becoming more and more numerous and agressive. AFP PHOTO/KENZO TRIBOUILLARD

Paris's Louvre museum on Thursday reopened its doors to the public after a walkout by some staff in protest at gangs of pickpockets operating at the world famous art gallery.

Around 20 police officers have now been drafted in to patrol the museum in response to staff concerns, Louvre officials told AFP.

The Louvre failed to open on Wednesday when around 200 employees refused to work saying the museum had become plagued by gangs of increasingly aggressive pickpockets, many of whom were children.

Christelle Guyader of the SUD union said late Wednesday management had agreed to a series of measures aimed at reinforcing the police presence around the building.

Disappointed tourists on Wednesday waited in vain in front of the museum, home to works of art such as the Mona Lisa and Venus de Milo, which receives some 10 million visitors a year.

Staff said they had been spat at, insulted and even hit by the pickpockets who would return to the museum again and again even after being ejected by police.

The Louvre has around 1,000 staff with some 470 present on any one day.