Paris faces museum shutdown after Pompidou strike

27th November 2009, Comments 0 comments

Strike action kept the landmark Pompidou modern art centre shut for a fifth day Friday as culture ministry unions threatened to close down the Louvre and other Paris museums to protest planned job cuts.

PARIS - Pompidou staff and security guards walked off the job on Monday and after meeting with aides to Culture Minister Frederic Mitterrand the next day they decided against going back to work.

They fear 400 of the 1,100 jobs at the centre known to Parisians as Beaubourg will be cut over the next 10 years under a government plan to trim down its payroll by not replacing retiring staff.

Several unions at the French culture ministry on Thursday said they were calling on workers in dozens of the capital's state-funded museums, theatres and cultural centres to strike from next Wednesday over the job cuts.

"No to job cuts, no to reducing subsidies for public establishments, no to the financial disengagement of the state, no to budget restrictions," the unions said in a joint statement.

The Pompidou centre last year had 5.5 million visitors, which made it the fifth biggest attraction in Paris. It houses Europe's top collection of modern art, a public library, bookshops, performance halls, a restaurant and cafe.


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