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Mona Lisa's smile restored: Louvre reopens after coronavirus concerns

The Paris museum where Leonardo da Vinci's iconic painting hangs had been closed while employees fearing becoming infected with the virus stayed home.
Credit: AP
The Louvre museum is pictured in Paris, Monday, March 2, 2020. The Louvre Museum was closed again Monday as management was meeting with staff worried about the spread of the new virus in the world's most-visited museum. (AP Photo/Christophe Ena)

This should restore the Mona Lisa's famous smile: the Louvre Museum is open again after management eased workers' fears about catching the coronavirus.

The Paris museum where Leonardo da Vinci's iconic painting hangs had been closed since Sunday while employees fearing becoming infected with the virus stayed home. But staffers voted overwhelmingly on Wednesday to resume work and the Louvre opened its doors in the afternoon

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Management presented a raft of new anti-virus measures to try to coax employees back to work. Among them: wider distributions of disinfectant gels and more frequent staff rotations so employees can wash their hands.

The museum will also temporarily stop accepting cash as part of the new measures. Fears that banknotes might be vectors of disease aren't restricted to workers at the home of Leonardo da Vinci's “Mona Lisa” and other famous masterpieces. Workers at the Versailles Palace and the Eiffel Tower also are concerned about handling cash and tickets during the virus epidemic, but both popular tourist attractions still take banknotes for now.