Workers at the Louvre in Paris went on strike Monday over overcrowding, closing the famed art museum, according to NPR.
"The Louvre is suffocating," the Sud Culture Solidaires Union said in a statement. "While the public has increased by more than 20% since 2009, the palace has not grown. ... Today the situation is untenable."
The museum saw 10.2 million visitors last year, an all-time high and a 25 percent increase from the previous year, according to NPR.
⚠ Museum closed today ⚠— Musée du Louvre (@MuseeLouvre) May 27, 2019
Due to a recent increase in visitor numbers, members of the Musée du Louvre’s Reception and Security staff are exercising their right to strike. The museum will therefore remain closed all day today (May 27, 2019).
In the meantime, staff headcount is on the decline, falling from 2,161 in 2009 to 2,005 in 2018. The overcrowding, the union said, creates problems ranging from impatient crowds to insufficient emergency evacuation plans.
"What to say about visiting conditions when people are confronted with noise, trampling, crowds, extreme fatigue and the total inadequacy of museum facilities at such a high volume of visitors?" the union said in the statement. "The Louvre does not have the means of its ambitions."
The museum is traditionally closed on Tuesdays, and a notice on the museum’s website said it would open late Wednesday following a general meeting attended by members of its security and reception staff.
It predicted unusually high volumes of visitors in coming days. A union representative said whether the museum reopens Wednesday depends on the outcome of the meeting.