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Fed up Louvre staff strikes over roving bands of pickpockets

Tens of thousands of the visitors who mob the Louvre each day drawn by those sirens the slightly smiling Mona Lisa, the amputated beauty the Venus de Milo, and the windswept Winged Victory of Samothrace had their hopes dashed like ships against the rocks by a staff strike in response to pickpocketing. Adding to France’s storied history of disruptive strikes of questionable impact, the Paris museum was shut down Wednesday with a 200 member staff walkout, the AFP reports. Reportedly, there have been roving bands of pickpockets of up to 30 members strong, swaggering through the stately galleries, infiltrating the crowds that stop to balk at the priceless works of art, twirling mustaches no doubt as they eye the hapless tourists taking photos with iPads or rummaging through their purses jumbled with passports and multiple types of currency. These gangs even sometimes include children (taking advantage of the museum’s free admission for the young, like sly Oliver Twists).

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