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The Louvre is undergoing renovations during coronavirus closure

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One of the most visited museums in the world finally has little room to breathe for renovations.

Before the coronavirus pandemic, the Louvre saw up to 30,000-40,000 visitors a day, or nearly 10 million visitors a year. In fact, the museum staff left in May 2019 to protest the overcrowding.

The pandemic has certainly slowed things down for the museum which is home to collections covering 9,000 years of history.

The Louvre closed on October 30 for the second blockade of Frances coronavirus. Still still unsure when the museum will reopen, but meanwhile, staff are working on late renovation and maintenance projects.

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These projects include the cleaning of sculptures, the remodeling of buildings, the control of inventories, the reorganization of entrances, and the updating of security systems. Museum staff are also carrying out restorations at the Grande Galerie and a major restoration of the ancient Egyptian church of Akhethotep from 2400 BC.

Workers treat a painting called 'Christ on the Cross Worshiped by Two Donors' by Spanish painter El Greco at the Louvre Museum in Paris.  (Photo AP / Thibault Camus)

Workers treat a painting called ‘Christ on the Cross Worshiped by Two Donors’ by Spanish painter El Greco at the Louvre Museum in Paris. (Photo AP / Thibault Camus)

In total, 10 large-scale projects that have been pending since last March are in progress and progressing rapidly.

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“We were using the closure of the museums to carry out a number of major works, to speed up maintenance operations and to start repair works that are difficult to plan when the museum is functioning normally,” said Laurent le Guedart, Director of Architectural Heritage and Louvre Gardens AP.

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Unlike France’s first blockade in March 2020, the latest restrictions have allowed Louvre 250 employees to remain fully functional, as long as they maintain social distance measures.

Workers at the Louvre museum placed scaffolding on the museum.  (Photo AP / Thibault Camus)

Workers at the Louvre museum placed scaffolding on the museum. (Photo AP / Thibault Camus)

With the lock in place, the Louvre is also able to carry out renovation and maintenance projects throughout the week. When the museum is fully open to visitors, those works can only be done on Tuesdays, one day a week the museum is closed.

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“When the museum reopens, everything will be perfect for its visitors, this Sleeping Beauty will have had time to dust her nose,” Elisabeth Antoine-Konig, Crafts Department curator told AP. “Visitors will be happy to see again these now well-lit rooms with smooth floors and remodeled showcases.”

Leonardo da Vinci's Mona Lisa hangs on the wall in a desolate Louvre museum.  (Photo AP / Thibault Camus)

Leonardo da Vinci’s Mona Lisa hangs on the wall in a desolate Louvre museum. (Photo AP / Thibault Camus)

When it reopens, visitors will need to book their reservations in advance to visit the Louvre, as part of the museum coronavirus security precaution.

Until then, the museum offers virtual tour in the Internet

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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