Severe Flooding in Paris Forces the Louvre to Remove Valuable Art
The record rains that have flooded Europe closed the Louvre Museum, forcing workers to evacuate a number of valuable pieces of art and statues.
"For the museums, even if fortunately there isn't any flooding of storerooms as of today, there is an automatic process... to move works in the deepest storerooms higher," Bruno Julliard, Paris' deputy mayor, told France Inter radio.
So much rain has fallen over the last few days that roads in France have been washed out, more than 20,000 people have lost power, train lines have been suspended and a handful of towns near Paris have been evacuated. President Francois Hollande planned to declare a state of natural disaster in hard-hit areas. The downpours have caused 10 deaths across Europe.
The Seine has risen 16 feet past its normal level. Though it hasn’t yet reached the Louvre, which is on the bank of the river, the museum is closing to allow staff to move works of art out of harm’s way, according to the BBC.
The RER C train line, which connects Orly International Airport to the city center and runs along the river, has also been shut down as a precaution.
French authorities said river levels have not been this high since 1910, when a number of roads in and out of Paris were completely submerged. More rain is predicted for the weekend.