The Lourve Museum, in Paris, was shut down on Sunday in response to fears regarding the coronavirus.
France’s Louvre Museum was shut down on Sunday amid coronavirus-related fears, according to the Associated Press.
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With tens of thousands of visitors daily, the Lourve is the most popular museum in the world. Last year, 9.6 million visitors alone came from abroad.
“We are very worried because we have visitors from everywhere,” said Andre Sacristin, a Louvre employee and union representative. “The risk is very, very, very great. It’s only a question of time."
Fans who lined up outside, hoping to get in, were let down Sunday morning. “We waited for about 3 hours before giving up,” one would-be patron told The Associated Press. “It was incredibly disappointing.”
The closing comes after news that neighboring Italy has become the epicenter for the epidemic in Europe. There are over 1,600 coronavirus cases and 34 deaths in the country so far. In the last 24 hours, cases have risen 40% and five more people have died.
’’This acceleration was expected, unfortunately,” Giovanni Rezza, director of the infective illness department at the National Health Institute, told the AP.
Saturday, the first death as a result of the coronavirus was reported in the United States. A woman in her late 50s in Washington State passed, but no details were given.