On Thursday, a nationwide strike in France brought the country to a standstill. Public transportation was largely not running as 180,000 demonstrators flooded the country’s streets, and some 6,000 police officers were deployed to Paris amid anticipation that events would take the same violent turn as last year’s Yellow Vest protests, which left nearly 2,000 civilians wounded and the Arc de Triomphe vandalized.
Because of the protests against resident president Emmanuel Macron’s plan to overhaul France’s pension system, a number of major museums across the nation were forced to alter their normal operations. Some had to readjust their hours in an attempt to accommodate mass walkouts by workers across France’s labor departments, and others had to close for the day entirely.
By the afternoon, labor unions across France had voted to extend the strike into Friday. The Musée d’Orsay in Paris announced on Twitter that it would close on Thursday; opening “is uncertain” for Friday. The Musée Nissim de Camondo, which displays 18th-century decorative arts and is housed in in the Hôtel Camondo, was also closed today.
The Palais de Tokyo and the Musée Guimet, which is dedicated to Asian arts, were also not open. There was hope, however, that the Palais de Tokyo would soon reopen, albeit with modified hours—on Twitter, the museum said that it would admit visitors on Friday, but it was planning to close several hours earlier than usual.
Institutions outside Paris have been similarly affected. The Musée d’Art Contemporain de Lyon closed Thursday but the Usines Fagor—a former industrial site that hosted a portion of Biennale de Lyon—remained open. Meanwhile, the Centre Pompidou-Metz remained unaffected.
Tourism nationwide has already been affected. The Eiffel Tower closed Thursday while officials in Lyon and Strasbourg have reported widespread cancelations by tourists. Last winter, France’s tourism sector similarly took a hit from Yellow Vest riots. The Louvre, Jeu de Paume, Grand Palais, and the Musée des Arts Décoratifs were among the institutions forced closed in 2018.