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Louvre Shuts Islamic Art Wing over Rising Seine

Louvre Shuts Islamic Art Wing over Rising Seine

Thursday, 25 January, 2018 - 08:30
A street-lamp is seen on the flooded banks of the Seine River in Paris after days of almost nonstop rain caused flooding in the country. Reuters

The Seine has continued to rise after heavy rains, while the Louvre Museum’s Islamic Art wing in Paris was closed as artworks were moved to higher ground.

The Seine is expected to reach 6.2 meters on Saturday, a peak last reached in 2016 when floods sent riverside museums scrambling to move artworks from their basements, which was the highest level since 1982.

"No water has yet got in" to the Louvre's Islamic Art wing in the basement, but it will remain off limits to visitors until at least Sunday, the museum said Wednesday.

"A crisis unit is monitoring the situation in real time," the Louvre added.

Much of France has been lashed by downpours throughout January, inundating many homes and shops with muddy water and halting trains on a busy commuter line that runs through Paris.

In June 2016 the Louvre transferred 35,000 works -- about a quarter of its total -- from areas at risk of flooding in just 48 hours.

Since then work has started on a conservation site for Louvre works vulnerable to water leaks near the northern city of Lens, but the 60 million euro facility is not expected to open until summer 2019.

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