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Art lovers locked out of Louvre as staff join pension strikes in Paris

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By Reuters with NBC News World News
Image: Striking employees hold a banner reading "Louvre on strike" outside
Striking employees hold a banner reading "Louvre on strike" outside the famous Parisian museum on Friday.   -   Copyright  Francois Mori
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PARIS, France — Tourists were turned away from the Louvre on Friday as striking staff blocked the entrance to the world's most-visited museum.

Many visitors had come to see a special exhibition on Leonardo da Vinci which opened in October to mark the 500th anniversary of the Italian master's death.

The Louvre workers were joined by other striking civil servants from the culture sector, who were booed by some of the frustrated tourists queuing in the hope of getting in.

The museum said tickets for the day would be fully reimbursed. About 30,000 people visit the museum every day.

Other visitors voiced support for the strike over planned pensions reform. The industrial action has lost momentum since President Emmanuel Macron's government made a concession over the retirement age and as strikers face financial pressure.

"It's annoying to come to Paris and find the Louvre closed, but I support them", Elaine, a tourist from Brazil, said.

The weeks of strikes and protests have disrupted public transportation and disrupted schools, hospitals, courthouses and even opera houses and the Eiffel tower.

While the number of striking workers has diminished since the movement, the country's trains and the Paris subway were still disrupted Friday.