Topline: The famed Louvre museum in Paris closed down on Sunday after museum workers raised concerns at a meeting they could be potentially exposed to the coronavirus, as an outbreak in Italy causes fear the disease could spread throughout Europe.
- Museum workers expressed concerns that most of the Louvre’s visitors come from abroad and that employees from northern Italy had previously come to the museum to collect works by Leonardo da Vinci, according to the Associated Press.
- None of the museum’s 2,300 staffers have been infected yet, but some worry the conditions at the Louvre put them at risk.
- Another meeting between workers and management is scheduled for Monday, but it’s unclear if the sides will be able to come to an agreement about how best to protect employees going forward or if the museum will reopen.
- Visitors were waiting in long lines outside the museum on Sunday unable to get in and eventually offered refunds.
- The closure comes after France announced that gatherings with more than 5,000 are banned to prevent the spread of Covid-19, which exacerbated fears among staff even more, the Associated Press reported.
News peg: Covid-19 is spreading beyond China, where the disease first originated in December, to at least 60 more countries. South Korea, Italy and Iran have seen outbreaks, raising concerns the virus will continue to spread throughout Europe. More than 85,000 people have been infected globally and nearly 3,000 have died. International gatherings, events and conferences around the world have been shut down over coronavirus fears, including the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Facebook’s annual developer’s conference and the Venice Carnival.
PHOTO: People line up at the Pyramide du louvre entrance on February 28, 2020 in Paris. PHOTO BY STEPHANE DE SAKUTIN/AFP VIA GETTY IMAGES
BY: Rachel SandlerForbes Staff
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