After reaching a high of 6.1 m on June 4, 2016, the River Seine has started to recede. As there is no longer a risk of the museum flooding, the Louvre will reopen its doors to visitors on Wednesday, June 8, 2016 at 9:00.
During the recent flooding, no water infiltration was observed in the museum.
The Musée du Louvre decided to close to the public from Friday, June 3 to Tuesday, June 7 included to remove, as a precautionary measure and as set out in its Flood Risk Prevention Plan (PPRI), artworks from flood zones to upper floors.
Faced with a ten-year flood (5.08 m to 6.58 m), the main risk was of water infiltrating through the sewers, and it was decided to evacuate a portion of stored artworks and rooms located in flood zones. Accordingly, 35,000 artworks (accounting for nearly 25% of the 152,000 artworks in flood zones) were moved to safe areas from Thursday evening to Saturday morning (highest flood level).
As the River Seine started to recede on Saturday, the evacuation process was stopped and the artworks that were moved were reinstalled. Only the Department of Islamic Art, which had many works removed from showcases, will remain closed until all the collections are reinstalled.
However, in the event of a bigger flood (a 100-year flood of 8.6 m), waters of the River Seine would flood the ground floor of the Louvre. These risks make it essential to determine a long-term solution: creation of storerooms in no flood zones inside the museum and removal of a portion of the collections to storerooms to be created in Liévin in 2018-2019.
The PPRI worked well thanks to the professional attitude of our teams, the work of 48 fire fighters of the Louvre and that of volunteers as well as drills performed on several occasions by the museum staff.
The closing of the Musée du Louvre for four days resulted in the loss of 120,000 museum visitors and around €1.5 million.