The Louvre museum in Paris reopened Wednesday after being shut down on Monday when employees went on strike to protest overcrowded conditions. The museum is always closed on Tuesdays.
The Sud Culture Solidaires Union announced the strike Sunday in a statement on its website, noting that staffing levels at the famous museum had declined over the past 10 years even as visitation has risen 20 percent.
Wednesday morning the Louvre said that the museum is open in an official statement on its website; however, all available time slots are fully booked. Only visitors who have already booked a specific time slot will be allowed to enter the museum.
According to the Associated Press, the museum reopened at 11 a.m. local time, two hours after its usually scheduled opening time. The reopening followed a meeting between union representatives and management on how to manage overcrowding at the museum.
A union spokesperson told the Associated Press that renovation work around the “Mona Lisa” has been partly to blame for the overcrowding issues, which have led to staff being harassed by frustrated tourists.
“The staff can’t work in these conditions,” Pierre Zinenberg, an employee at the Louvre and union representative, told the AP. “Tourists are being aggressive to employees near the ‘Mona Lisa' because they are being squeezed.”
On its website, the Louvre noted that only tickets purchased online are guaranteed entry to the museum. Travelers can check the next available time slots and book tickets at www.ticketlouvre.fr.