Paris’ Louvre closes for staff meeting on coronavirus

FILE PHOTO: A view shows tourists walking past the Louvre Pyramid designed by Chinese-born U.S. architect Ieoh Ming Pei outside the Louvre Museum in Paris, France, July 4, 2019. REUTERS/Regis Duvignau

PARIS (Reuters) – Art lovers were left locked out of the Louvre in Paris on Sunday morning as the world’s most-visited museum held a staff meeting about the coronavirus outbreak.

Long lines of disgruntled tourists snaked outside the museum, the home of Leonardo da Vinci’s Mona Lisa portrait and the Venus de Milo sculpture.

A spokeswoman said the museum in central Paris was expected to open after the meeting between management, personnel and the staff doctor.

She added museums were not covered by government orders to cancel, until further notice, all public gatherings indoors or in confined spaces with more than 5,000 people.

The government issued the orders on Saturday as it tries to contain the spread of the virus. As of Saturday evening, France had 100 confirmed cases of the disease.

As a result of the ban, the annual Paris farm show closed a day early on Saturday. A half marathon with more than 40,000 runners expected on Sunday in the French capital was called off.

Reporting by Leigh Thomas; Editing by Mark Potter

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