Seine River Flooding : Exceptional closure of the lower level of the Department of Islamic Arts

January 24, 2018

The water levels of the river Seine have reached 5.12 meters today. In keeping with the museum’s Flood Risk Prevention Plan, an emergency response protocolhas been set up earlier this week by the Louvre general management, which has decided to close the lower level of the Department of Islamic Arts until Sunday, January 28th, as a preventive measure.

Other  precautionary measures applying to the whole of the premises have been taken.

The emergency response team, directed by the general management, monitors the situation in real time and will implement all necessary measure to prevent flood risk.

Established in 2002 on the recommendation of the Paris police department, the Louvre Flood Risk prevention Plan consists in :

  - setting up a Risk Prevention Emergency Response protocol;

- daily monitoring of the level of the Seine and its fluctuations by the Paris Fire Department;

- special records made of all works that are to be moved to upper floors;

- regular emergency drills with staff involved in operations;

- relocating the museum’s reserve collections (152,000 works) to Liévin, where a new conservation and storage facility is currently under construction since last month.

In June 2016, water levels of the Seine rose at 6.07 meters, but no infiltrations were reported. As a precautionary measure, the museum remained closed for four days, as of June 3, to evacuate artworks in flood zones. 35,000 works (nearly 25% of the 152,000 works held in flood zones) were moved to safe areas in 48 hours. Since then, a large number of reserve collections has been packed to ensure their rapid evacuation in the event of flooding, and staff have been also trained


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Christine Cuny :
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Céline Dauvergne :
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