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Louvre reopens after being blocked by strikers


Agence France-Presse

Paris  /  Sun, January 19, 2020  /  04:09 pm
Louvre reopens after being blocked by strikers

Employees and members of French trade unions hold flags and a banner reading 'Musee du Louvre on strike' as they gather in front of the Louvre pyramid designed by Ieoh Ming Pei at the entrance of Louvre museum on January 17, 2019, in Paris, during the 44th day of nationwide multi-sector protests and strikes against the government pensions reform. The Louvre, the most visited museum in the world, is closed on January 17, 2020 because of a blocking of entries by the inter-union to protest against the government's pension reform project. (AFP/Alain Jocard)

The Louvre in Paris, the world's most visited museum, reopened on Saturday after being shut down by workers striking over government plans to overhaul France's pension system.

On Friday, hundreds of disappointed visitors had massed outside the Louvre, some hurling insults at strikers who had blocked the entrance.

It was the first time since the strike began on December 5 that the museum had shut completely although it was forced to close some galleries last month.

Union leaders are seeking to widen opposition to the pension reforms proposed by President Emmanuel Macron's government, which have triggered the longest transport strike in France in decades.

Read also: Louvre's record numbers fall as museum tries to limit visitors

The unions are looking for a second wind as the movement starts to flag, with the proportion of striking workers at national railway operator SNCF falling to less than five percent on on Friday.

The overhaul aims to forge a single pensions system from the country's 42 separate regimes, which offer early retirement and other benefits to public-sector workers as well as lawyers, physical therapists and even Paris Opera employees.

Critics say it will effectively force millions of people to work longer for a smaller pension.

The Louvre, which lies near the banks of the Seine, received 9.6 million visitors last year, most of them foreigners including Americans, Chinese and Europeans.

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