A sign is taped on the window of a counter set up by archeologists who are denouncing a decrease in research fundings on February 5, 2015 at the Louvre Museum in Paris. AFP Photo / Bertrand Guay. Source: Art Daily.
Alexander Forbes, Besieged Louvre Museum Temporarily Grants Visitors Free Entry, artnet news, 6 February 2015
Visitors to the Louvre on Thursday got a pleasant surprise. Approximately 100 archaeologists blocked the renowned museum’s ticket booth during the afternoon, allowing visitors to pass into the museum without paying the typical €12 entrance fee, reports the AFP.
The blockade lasted for around four hours. During the protest, the archaeologists posted a sign in one of the ticket counter’s windows, which read, “Free entrance offered by the archaeologists.”
Protesters were organizing against what they view as the progressive threat to archaeological sites in France and around the globe due to the privatization of their profession. Since 2003, private companies have been allowed to compete with archaeologists employed by the French government for projects related to the preventative maintenance of archaeological sites.
A cohort of unions representing the protesting archaeologists said in a statement to the news agency, “For more than 10 years, the privatization and commercialization of this sector has led to a catastrophic situation,” for archaeological sites in the country. They suggest that, should privatization measures continue, the well-being of the country’s heritage could be in danger.