The Louvre in Paris, the world’s most visited museum and home to the Mona Lisa, reopens on Monday but with coronavirus restrictions in place and parts of the complex closed to visitors.
Masks are compulsory, a one-way system is in place and numbers of visitors will be controlled, reports the BBC.
“We are losing 80% of our public,” director Jean-Luc Martinez told AFP news agency. “We are going to be at best 20-30% down on last summer – between 4,000 and 10,000 visitors a day.”Jean-Luc Martinez, Director Of The Museum
There will also be a spaced queue to view Leonardo Da Vinci”s famous Mona Lisa painting.
Some 10 million people come to what is thought to be the world”s most visited museum each year, the majority from abroad.
But with tourism crippled by the ongoing pandemic and the European Union only opening its external borders for 15 nations so far, staff at the museum fear visitor numbers could drop hugely.
The museum closed on March 13 and has reportedly lost 40 million euros ($45 million) in revenue since then.
French President Emmanuel Macron declared a “first victory” over the coronavirus in June as he continued a partial lifting of lockdown restrictions.
But the government has faced criticisms throughout the pandemic over shortages of medical equipment and how it has handled the crisis.
On Friday it was announced that the Law Court of the Republic, which deals with claims of ministerial misconduct, will open an inquiry into the government’s response.
Also on Monday morning, Parisian tour guides protested outside the Louvre, saying the government had not done enough to help people who work in the tourism industry.
France lifted travel restrictions at European borders on June 15.
The other French icon, the Eiffel Tower, reopened on June 25 after a three-month closure, the longest since World War Two.
As of Monday, France has reported a total of 204,222 COVID-19 cases, with 29,896 deaths.
(Source – BBC)