After days of rain, the Louvre museum and the Musée d’Orsay have closed temporarily to safeguard their collections from severe flooding along the River Seine.
Beginning last Thursday, rainstorms have caused water levels to rise dramatically along the river. At the time of publication, it had reached 5.19 meters (17 feet), more than double average levels, according to ABC News. As the rainfall continues, the water is expected to peak at upward of 6 meters, more than 19 feet, according to deputy mayor Colombe Brossel who spoke to the Washington Post. Authorities have suspended river traffic and a commuter train line that runs along the Seine amid fears of a “flood of the century,” according to the report.
Since Tuesday, the city of Paris has been on orange alert, the second-highest flood warning level. Authorities believe the water could rise higher than in 2016, when both the Louvre and the Musée d’Orsay were forced to close after the water level reached 6.07 meters, its highest in a century. At that point, the museum said in a tweet, some 35,000 works were relocated over a period of 24 hours.
The lower level of the Louvre’s Department of Islamic Arts has been closed until Sunday, January 28, while the Musée d’Orsay has postponed an evening event for Thursday. The Louvre has implemented the closure as an “exceptional measure” in accordance with an emergency protocol that was set up earlier in the week for once the river reached 5.12 meters. Read more