Workers say that thieves have been showing up at the museum in gangs of up to 30 — primarily made up of young Eastern Europeans — and are responsible for incidents of “spitting, insults, threats” and striking employees and visitors.

Staffers “come to work afraid because they find themselves confronted with organized groups of pickpockets who are increasingly aggressive and which include children, who get into the museum free and even when taken in for questioning by police, come back a few days later,” Christelle Guyader, a representative for the network of trade unions Solidaires Unitaires Démocratiques (SUD), told the AFP.