The Louvre Museum in Paris and the Palace of Versailles evacuated their premises and closed their doors this Saturday, October 14, in response to security threats. French police told reporters that the two sites cleared both visitors and staff from the sites after receiving bomb threats that proved to be false alarms.
After receiving a written warning about a potential security risk, the Louvre was forced to clear all staff and approximately 15,000 visitors from the area on Saturday afternoon, October 14. As people exited, alarms sounded throughout the vicinity including the underground shopping center beneath its iconic glass pyramid, according to Deutsche Welle.
On the social network X, the Louvre announced its closure for Saturday and said that people who had reserved tickets for a visit that day would be refunded.
Police reportedly searched the museum and found no explosives on the premises. The museum reopened its doors to the public and resumed its usual operating hours on Sunday. Hyperallergic has contacted both museums and French authorities for more information.
Versailles also announced its decision to close early, stating that all visitors who reserved tickets for time slots after 2pm would be refunded. In addition to the two sites, the Gare de Lyon railway station was also evacuated, Reuters reported.
Since Friday, the country has been on its highest security alert after a teacher was fatally stabbed and three other people wounded by a former student, suspected of Islamic radicalization, at a school in northeast France. The following day after the incident, President Emmanuel Macron called for the mobilization of up to 7,000 soldiers as part of the country’s homeland security military mission Operation Sentinelle, which emerged after the January 2015 attacks on the satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo and a kosher supermarket.
The calls for increased security come as global communities fear that Israel’s deadly retaliatory siege on Palestine after Hamas’s October 7 attack on civilians could lead to outbursts of violence.