Keep that smile, Mona Lisa. The Eiffel Tower and the Palace of Versailles will also remain prohibited for the time being.
None of France’s three most iconic tourist sites will reopen when the country lifts most of its remaining coronavirus lockdown restrictions next week. Some of Europe’s other major cultural sites are also taking their time to reopen.
The Eiffel Tower will probably not be able to reopen before the second half of June, according to Stéphane Dieu, union representative for the staff of the monument.
He said they still needed to fine-tune with site management how to protect employees and visitors and maintain social distancing.
“At the moment it is not possible with all the best will in the world,” God said.
When the tower reopens, tourists seeking jaw-dropping views of Paris could train up the stairs: The elevators that usually ferry visitors to the three different levels will likely remain closed, God said.
At the Louvre, officials told workers they aim to reopen between late June and mid-July, said Andre Sacristin, a union representative who participated in planning discussions.
When the museum reopens, public hygiene rules will be strict and visiting “the Louvre will no longer be like before. It’s impossible,” said Sacristin.
He said he expects everyone, staff and visitors, will be required to wear face masks.
About 20 to 30 percent of the museum’s rooms could be closed, but “of course the Mona Lisa will be open,” Sacristin said.
Details will be worked out in subsequent meetings between management and staff.
The Palace of Versailles, the former residence of the kings of France, will also not reopen on Tuesday, when most of the remaining lockdown restrictions are lifted in France.
The palace said a reopening date has yet to be decided.
Adapting major tourist attractions to the imperatives of the coronavirus also takes time elsewhere.
In Madrid, the Prado, Reina Sofía and Thyssen museums – the so-called “arts triangle” – are set to jointly reopen on June 6, two weeks after they were officially allowed to welcome visitors again.
Initially, part of their exhibition space will remain closed and visitor numbers will be limited to 30% of their pre-pandemic size.
While smaller Spanish museums have rapidly reopened this month, larger ones said they needed more time to prepare protective equipment for staff, temperature checks for visitors and screening measures for crowds.
The Prado, the crown jewel of Spanish museums, housing works by Francisco de Goya, Diego de Velázquez and other masters, has been closed since March 11, its longest closure in eight decades since the 1936 civil war. 1939.
The slogan chosen by the museum for its reopening is “Re-encounter.