PARIS, June 2. /TASS/. The Louvre will be closed for visitors on Friday because of a flood in Paris, officials at the directorate of the museum said on Thursday.
The directorate forwarded a notification on a special mode of operations on Thursday morning when the water in the Seine climbed over the 5 meters mark.
"General alert has been called in the museum in connection with the flood," the notification said. "A decision has been taken to close the museum on Friday, July 3, in order to evacuate the works of art kept in the parts of the museum where the risk of flooding exists."
Officials at the Louvre, which boasts having one of the best and most valuable museum collections in the world, responded to a recommendation by the authorities in 2002 and introduced regular exercises where actions in case of floods are simulated. Also, the staff draws the plans for evacuation of the works of art, as the Louvre’s underground depositaries are located in the immediate vicinity of the Seine’s water course.
The flooding in northern France continues for several days already following an unprecedented rainfall that occurred at the beginning of the week. Earlier on Thursday, the French authorities declared the orange level of weather alert in Paris and the adjoining departments of the Parisian Region (Ile-de-France).
Although the rain in the areas around Paris stopped on Thursday afternoon, the water level in the Seine continued rising. Meteorology experts say the flood will most likely reach its peak by midday on Friday when the water in the Seine rises to 5.8 meters to 6.0 meters.
Officials in the Paris Prefecture, the city’s Interior department, say in the meantime the flood does not pose any danger for the residents although it has partly halted the routine functioning of the transport system.