Famous Paris tourist attraction closed by protesters as Foreign Offices issues France travel advisory

French unions have called for an 11th day of national strikes on 6 April, which could spill over into the Easter weekend.

The Louvre was forced to close its doors on Monday (27 March), after dozens of staff members blocked the entrance as part of the wider strikes, prompting museum officials to close the building to visitors.

Pictures shared by the CGT union show members toting banners and flags in front of the famed pyramid in protest at president Emmanuel Macron’s controversial pension reform, which raises the retirement age from 62 to 64, which he forced through parliament using a special provision.

Widespread demonstrations have resulted in travel disruptions and violence, prompting the UK’s Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) to issue a new travel advisory.

“Since mid-March there have been spontaneous protests in central Paris and elsewhere in France. Protests are likely to take place and could occur with little notice. Some protests have turned violent. The protests may lead to disruptions to road travel.

“There is also ongoing strike action affecting multiple sectors including transport networks. Coordinated strike action and large-scale demonstrations are next planned for Thursday 6 April. Industrial action may start the evening before the strike day and run for several days.

“You should monitor the media, check the latest advice with operators before travelling, avoid demonstrations and follow the advice of local authorities.”

French police have been accused of using excessive force by both protesters and human rights bodies, including the Council of Europe, further inflaming demonstrators.

The IGPN, the internal affairs unit of the French police, has reportedly launched 17 investigations into incidents since the pensions protests began.

According to Le Monde, police have fired tear gas and charged at protestors. In Lyon, police used water cannons and employed tear gas.

Despite this, unions have vowed to continue with protests.

Laurent Berger, the head of the moderate CFDT union, called for the appointment of a mediator between unions and the government as “a gesture in favour of cooling off, and finding a way out.”

Left CGT union leader Philippe Martinez said “the aim is the withdrawal” of the pensions law. But government spokesman Olivier Veran said the law was no longer up for discussion, saying: “It's in the past now”.