On Monday, July 6, as the Louvre reopened after four months of closure, there were more-than-eager museum-goers waiting at the foot of the glass pyramid. Paris tour guides took the opportunity of the broadcasted reopening to make their voices heard.
Dozens of Parisian tour guides, wearing face masks and holding signs with photos of the Mona Lisa, gathered outside the Louvre to protest the lack of relief funds allocated to out-of-work tour guides.
Although $19 billion was dedicated to supporting the country’s tourism sector, very little of that found its way to the hand of guides on short-term contracts who desperately need relief. Margot Schmitz, one of the protesters, told Reuters, “The government is turning a deaf ear. We have no voice.”
According to the museum, around 7,000 visitors were expected to visit the reopened museum on Monday, and only one-fifth of the pre-pandemic tourism numbers are expected for the rest of the summer.