The Eiffel Tower will close Saturday due to planned demonstrations in France’s capital. Those who purchased tickets online to visit the site will get a refund, according to an online notice that described it as an “exceptional closure.”
Additionally, more than a dozen museums and other cultural sites in Paris will be closed amid fears of new rioting at protests called by the “yellow vest” movement. Several museums and two theaters in the city center, especially those close to the famed Champs-Élysées Avenue, have announced they will not open their doors that day.
The Paris Opera has cancelled planned performances on its two Parisian sites. Two music festivals have also been postponed. The Arc de Triomphe remains closed since last weekend’s protest damaged the monument.
Paris police have also urged shops in the Champs-Élysées area to close on Saturday as a precaution. Many stores were smashed and looted in Paris last weekend.
The city is bracing for new violence despite President Emmanuel Macron’s surrender over a fuel tax hike that unleashed weeks of unrest. France’s prime minister is promising “exceptional” security measures in Paris and around the country Saturday amid fears that radicals and troublemakers will take advantage of the moment to seed chaos.
Speaking Thursday to lawmakers, Edouard Philippe said the government is taking “all measures necessary” to secure the protests, bringing in additional security officers to bolster the 65,000 forces already in place nationwide.
He urged “yellow vest” protesters to stay home for their own protection from those who could hijack the protests, after demonstrations in Paris last Saturday degenerated into rioting and looting. He also praised union leaders and local officials who are joining the government’s call for calm.
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