Strike keeps Paris impressionist museum shut

25th October 2011, Comments 0 comments

Paris' newly-revamped Orsay Museum remained closed to the public for a sixth day on Tuesday by a strike launched to demand extra manpower to staff the larger, renovated space, the museum said.

Workers were meeting Tuesday morning to decide whether to extend the protest launched on Thursday to demand 20 more staff at the museum, whose world-leading impressionist collection draws three million visitors each year.

Twenty-five years after its creation in a 200-year-old former railway station on the south bank of the Seine, Orsay has spruced up around half of its exhibition spaces at a cost of 20.1 million euros (27.6 million dollars).

Special attention has been paid to the impressionist gallery and the museum of 19th-century art was braced for a rush of visitors keen to see masterworks by Claude Monet, Auguste Renoir or Edgar Degas in their new setting.

Four new storeys have also been built inside the museum's Amont pavilion, a vast former machine room, creating 2,000 square metres of new hanging space devoted to putting more of its decorative arts collection on show.

Unions argue that they need the extra staff to welcome visitors adequately in the new set-up.

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© 2011 AFP

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