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Paris Louvre shuts as staff strike over pickpockets (April 2013)

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Apr 10th, 2013, 10:16 AM
  #1
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Paris Louvre shuts as staff strike over pickpockets (April 2013)

FYI:

"One of the world's most visited museums, the Louvre in Paris, did not open on Wednesday (April 10, 2013) because of a protest by staff over pickpockets.

"Officials have been unable to say when the museum will reopen."

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-22098102
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Apr 10th, 2013, 10:21 AM
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How do they get in? the article doesn't explain that.

we grappled for ages with the self-service ticket machines, and that was after queuing for a while.

it's not as if it's cheap.
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Apr 10th, 2013, 10:25 AM
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I'm waiting for the contrary postings about how the pickpocket situation is just like every other big city, take normal precautions!
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Apr 10th, 2013, 10:26 AM
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I think it's not too hard to slip in. As my current status is "unemployed," I can walk into the Louvre or the Orsay (or any other national museum) just by showing my unemployment certificate -- don't even need to get any kind of ticket. However, I am certain that even if you buy a ticket, there are huge profits to be reaped by pickpockets in the Louvre, even if they only prey on one or two people.

The Louvre employees are not paid to watch out for pickpockets. They are there to protect the art and to answer visitors' questions. I completely approve of this strike if the problem has become that bad.
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Apr 10th, 2013, 10:29 AM
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I should mention that it my recent visits to the Louvre, it appeared that at least 30% of the visitors were Chinese. These people are loaded with cash because they do not have credit cards -- and they are oblivious to most risks.

"Western" tourists who are aware of pickpockets in Paris have no problem with them. There are much easier pickings to be made from the visitors from the BRIC countries.
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Apr 10th, 2013, 10:31 AM
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even the French have had enough....
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Apr 10th, 2013, 10:59 AM
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What is that supposed to mean?
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Apr 10th, 2013, 11:20 AM
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The "kids" do not have to slip in. Children under 18 are free, and those 18 to 24 who have EU papers have free admittance, too, I think. If the cops throw them out one entrance, I suppose they can come right back in through another.
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Apr 10th, 2013, 11:30 AM
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G_Hopper--I was just going to post this article and you beat me to it!

It was so upsetting to me in Fall of 2011 that I had to report "swarming" was becoming common in Paris. My daughter, a study-abroad student, had observed "swarming" in her area Starbucks, in two little Ma/Pa grocery stores (she foiled one robbery), and knew of a swarm in the Galleries Lafayette area.

Of course, some people where robbed while checking iphones on street corners, but she discounted that with, "That's stupid."

I've been going to Paris at least once yearly since 1998, and I had NEVER seen anything overtly aggressive before I visited in 2011. I got swarmed crossing the Seine by skinny teens with clipboards. Luckily a) I speak good French and am not afraid of being loud and b) I had been reaching for something in my tote, so I started swinging right and left as I shouted.

I am a rather large woman.

They DID clear off. But I was totally shocked by their aggressiveness. Had it been Barcelona or Madrid, I would have not been so upset. But this was Paris, MY Paris!

The French man that we encountered at the same time as the incident spoke to me in French that "enough is enough" because he certainly thought I was French, not a tourist. When I told him I had never seen this before, he switched to English. And he told me he knew where policemen where across the bridge and he was reporting them.

He was just SO disgusted.

Clearly, these attacks are not limited to tourists, so this "blame the victim" mentality that often resides on the forum is utterly stupid. Paris has a problem now, and it's such a shame.

These criminals are robbing people of their experiences, and to me, that's worse than the loss of any currency or cell phone.

The laws governing the charging of juveniles MUST change, and I think the walkout by the Louvre personnel makes perfect sense as an impetus to so do. Elected officials, no matter where, vote with wallets. A loss of tourism dollars makes an impression.
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Apr 10th, 2013, 11:48 AM
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In a related action, the union of gold ring finders announced that they are going on strike to protest the increasing cost of brass.
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Apr 10th, 2013, 12:05 PM
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Sorry I started a new thread on the same topic before finding this one.

On the radio (France Info), they said the museum should be open tomorrow. But there is no garantee I guess.
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Apr 10th, 2013, 12:10 PM
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Sounds like the Louvre will be open tomorrow. On the same radio just now "The unoin of the museum personel is satisfied with reinforcement of the security staff/ police - in the museum"
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Apr 10th, 2013, 12:19 PM
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Well is it not the job of museum staff to police the place - they are not doing their job? So they go on strike?

What staffers are in charge of security? Why can't they secure the Louvre?

Well again it is the Parisian and French authorities that refuse to tackle the problem - sure they are minors and can't be arrested or incarcerated but where is parental responsibility like in out states - if a kid does something wrong the parents are also responsible - can't these youths be declared delinquents and sent to some kind of home for delinquents?

Why do they French molly coddle under age thieves so so much? Especially young Romani gals - who are they stealing for?
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Apr 10th, 2013, 01:08 PM
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Apparently pick picketers are willing to pay admission and go through security, etc. in many museums. We were close to being pp'd in Topkapi and admission is not cheap.
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Apr 10th, 2013, 01:12 PM
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wow, I'm really surprised the staff would find it so troublesome that they would strike, but good for them. I didn't understand it until I read the article, but I guess they have been having problems getting to work and are tired of it. I just didn't know why they'd strike over pickpockets of tourists.

I've actually never seen this as a big problem and I was just there within the last 6 months. I usually go in by the metro underground entrance, but I leave to the street and hadn't noticed big gangs of kids around, maybe I'm just forgetting.

I think the issue is the street situation, not pickpockets within the museum, as they refer to problems arriving at work. It is reasonable to expect the police to do something on the street.
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Apr 10th, 2013, 01:52 PM
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kerouac, you have to read your Monty Python..
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Apr 10th, 2013, 02:17 PM
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Minors in France cannot be arrested or incarcerated? Wow. No wonder underage crime is such a problem.
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Apr 10th, 2013, 02:28 PM
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Swarming is nothing new. I was swarmed in 1985 on the rue Royale or rue de la Paix.

The strike reminds me of when a metro line was shut down for the rest of the day because a conductor was assaulted on that line.
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Apr 10th, 2013, 04:15 PM
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My impression is that they are doing the swarming WITHIN the museum. And I totally believe that.

Again, if they swept through Galleries Lafayette on the tippy top floor, they can easily do the same in any museum.

One tends to feel safe in museums...ergo...
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Apr 10th, 2013, 06:47 PM
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No doubt the somewhat recent phenomenon of Tourists carrying expensive smartphones sometimes in open view has exacerbated a long standing problem. As for the workers, It would suck to have to deal with these distraught tourists every day. Maybe the strike will finally drive some meaningful changes by the authorities to address this problem in the museums and on the streets.
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