The Louvre remained closed on Sunday, March 1 after employees refused to open the museum’s doors due to concerns over the Coronavirus (COVID-19).
A majority of the 2,300 management and employees voted to halt regular museum operations after expressing their fears of COVID-19 during an internal staff meeting, with only 2 opting to continue opening. Christian Galani, a staff member of the famed Parisian art museum, confirmed that management was not able to reassure the safety of their staff in the wake of the virus. “The Louvre is a confined space, which welcomes more than 5,000 people a day, there is real concern from the agents,” Galani said.
Employee and union representative Andre Sacristin also told AP that the various travel backgrounds of the Louvre’s visitors pose a threat to the health of the staff. “We are very worried because we have visitors from everywhere. The risk is very, very, very great,” he said over the phone. Although none of the employees have tested positive for COVID-19, Sacristin notes that “it’s only a question of time.”
COVID-19 has forced several postponements and cancellations of events around the world, along with the temporary halt of production from the likes of big tech giants like Apple — Art Basel announced the cancellation of Art Basel Hong Kong in early February, the International Olympic Committee are mulling over cancelling the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and the Seoul Metropolitan Government has completely shut down Seoul Fashion Week FW2020.