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Louvre Closes Due to Staff Strike Over 'Untenable' Situation; Plus, No 'Salvator Mundi' Appearance Ahead

  • May 28, 2019 14:00

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No word on when the $450 million 'Salvator Mundi' will appear, but it won't be at the Louvre this fall. The painting was purchased at Christie's in a bid on behalf of Mohammed bin Salman, the crown prince of Saudi Arabia in 2017 and its whereabouts are unknown.

On Monday, the Louvre shut its doors after security and reception staff went on strike, protesting "unprecedented deterioration of conditions." In recent years, attendance numbers at the Paris museum have swelled.

"The Louvre is suffocating," the Sud Culture Solidaires Union said in a statement Sunday. "While the public has increased by more than 20% since 2009, the palace has not grown. ... Today the situation is untenable."

The Louvre hosted a record 10.2 million visitors last year – a 25% increase over the year before.

A blockbuster is just ahead, the much-anticipated Leonardo da Vinci exhibition is scheduled for fall sans the $450 million portrait 'Salvator Mundi' (Christ as Saviour of the World), as authenticity doubts are festering, reports The Guardian. The show opens October 24, 2019, with tickets already on sale.

The museum issued a statement online Tuesday night:

Due to a general meeting attended by members of the Musée du Louvre’s Reception and Security staff, the museum will open later than usual on Wednesday, May 29, 2019.

We apologize for any inconvenience caused and thank you for your patience.

High visitor numbers are expected in the coming days. For this reason, we strongly recommend buying tickets online to ensure entry to the museum.

Read more at NPR


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