If you’ve ever been to the Louvre, you know one of the great joys of the experience is waiting by the ugly glass pyramid to get in to one of the world’s great museums. And waiting . . . and waiting . . . and waiting . . . .
Apparently things have gotten a bit more . . . exciting at the Louvre since Richard and I spent an eternity there one morning two years ago. At that time, it was just a boring exercise in passing the time until we moved to the front of the line. Now the news media is reporting that gangs of aggressive pickpockets that include children are prowling the premises of the pyramid, attacking tourists and employees alike. The crime has gotten so bad that the employees went on strike today and the Louvre was closed to visitors. Can you imagine how you would feel if, on your once-in-a-lifetime visit to Paris, you budgeted one day to visit the Louvre and today was that day?
There must be something to this story that I don’t understand. It seems like the response to a pickpocket problem at a particular location, like the Louvre, would be obvious — station a bunch of gendarmes there and have them chase down, tackle, and arrest any perpetrators. You’d certainly think that France would want anyone visiting one of the crown jewels of Paris to be able to do so without grappling with the French equivalent of Fagin and the Artful Dodger.
I thought waiting in the Louvre’s endless line that moved at a tortoise-like pace was awful. I guess I should be grateful that I wasn’t mugged to boot.