Louvre and Versailles Reopen After False Bomb Threats in France
France has reopened its doors to visitors at its two largest and most renowned landmarks, the Louvre Museum and the Palace of Versailles, after evacuating visitors and closing them 'for security reasons.' The museums announced this on their social media pages.
France's two biggest and most famous landmarks, the Louvre and the Palace of Versailles, were evacuated and closed on Saturday following warnings of a planted explosive device received the day after an Islamist attack in Arras. Initially, the Louvre, the world's largest museum located in the heart of Paris, announced its closure at noon as an exceptional security measure. However, a few hours later, in the afternoon, the Palace of Versailles, situated a few kilometres from Paris, was also evacuated due to a bomb threat, as reported by a police source.
The castle's press service confirmed the evacuation, but did not specify the reason. This 'concerns the entire castle and estate,' added the source.
At this time, France is concluding its high tourist season, with approximately 15,000 visitors, mainly French nationals, touring the vast estate where the palace of King Louis XIV is located, according to the press service.
The report of the bomb threat came via an anonymous letter on the website moncommissariat.fr, a source familiar with the matter reported. This source also stated that the monument would not be opened on Saturday.
It was later revealed that these were 'erroneous' alarms.
Recall that on Friday evening in France, a state of 'exceptional attack' was declared, the highest level of the Vigipirate system, following the murder of teacher Dominique Bernard, who was fatally attacked by a radicalized former student in front of a middle school in Arras.
The 'exceptional attack' level of the Vigipirate system, which falls under the authority of the head of government, can be established immediately after an attack or if an identified and unidentified terrorist group takes action. This allows the mobilization of resources and the dissemination of information to protect citizens in a crisis situation.
France still remains at the 'heightened security - risk of attack' level, corresponding to a high level of terrorist threat.