- Title: Don't forget us! Paris tour guides protest outside Louvre
- Date: 6th July 2020
- Summary: VISITORS ENTERING LOUVRE PYRAMID VARIOUS OF GUIDES WEARING MASKS WITH XES, HOLDING PICTURES OF MONA LISA IN FRONT OF ACTUAL MONA LISA PAINTING INSIDE LOUVRE MONA LISA PAINTING VISITORS TAKING PICTURES OF MONA LISA INSIDE LOUVRE GUIDES DURING PROTEST TOUR GUIDE, WILLIAM OSMOND, WEARING MASK WITH X OSMOND HOLDING MONA LISA PICTURE IN FRONT OF PYRAMID MONA LISA PICTURE (SOUNDBITE) (French) TOUR GUIDE, WILLIAM OSMOND, SAYING: "The COVID-19 crisis has destroyed our careers. Museum closures, border closures mean that our customers on whom depend can't come, and we are left without a job. And since our job is not recognised as we would like it to, we are a bit forgotten and it's sad. So, the Louvre museum reopening is symbolic for us because we want to remind people that we are here, that we exist and that being a tour guide is a real job, not a job we can improvise." VARIOUS OF TOUR GUIDE, MANUELA FEUCHOT-GAZQUEZ, HOLDING MONA LISA PICTURE IN FRONT OF LOUVRE PYRAMID (SOUNDBITE) (French) TOUR GUIDE, MANUELA FEUCHOT-GAZQUEZ, SAYING: "It's a bit discouraging, but there's also hope. We are discouraged because we don't feel like we're being heard, because public institutions don't even know we exist. We want to be heard, we want our job to be recognised, because being a tour guide is a job. At the same time, we hope that all will be fine in the end and that tourism will go back on track and visitors will come back so that we could work in good conditions." GUIDES SHOWING MONA LISA PICTURES IN FRONT OF LOUVRE PYRAMID AND APPLAUDING
- Embargoed: 20th July 2020 12:28
- Keywords: France Louvres culture industry flash mob museum protest tour guides tourism
- Location: PARIS, FRANCE
- City: PARIS, FRANCE
- Country: France
- Topics: Arts / Culture / Entertainment
- Reuters ID: LVA004CLOA5VR
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: Several dozen Paris tour guides wearing masks and holding Mona Lisa portraits protested outside the Louvre museum on Monday (July 6) for more support from the government to help them ride out the coronavirus crisis and a dearth of tourists.
They gathered at the foot of the Louvre's glass pyramid as the museum reopened to visitors for the first time in four months after going into lockdown.
In May, France announced measures worth 18 billion euros ($19 billion) to support its tourism sector from the damage wrought upon it by the global pandemic.
But protester Margot Schmitz said these funds were not reaching tour guides like her, most of whom were on short-term contracts and were facing imminent financial hardship.
It may be months before foreigner flock back to Paris in pre-crisis numbers.
The Louvre said it was expecting 7,000 visitors on Monday but after an initial flurry managers anticipate that numbers will only be a fifth of pre-outbreak levels - likely making for a more serene experience than usual.
(Production: Emilie Delwarde, Noemie Olive, Melodie Sforza, Ardee Napolitano)
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