News ID: 192315
Published: 0806 GMT May 07, 2017

Louvre museum courtyard evacuated before Macron speech

Louvre museum courtyard evacuated before Macron speech

Grounds belonging to the Louvre museum in the French capital Paris have been evacuated before a planned speech by presidential candidate Emmanuel Macron.

Authorities said Sunday that the area, known as Esplanade du Louvre, was briefly closed for security checks on Sunday hours before centrist Macron was planned to address supporters after an election for president.

The evacuation, which affected a few hundred people, was prompted by a suspicious bag. The museum itself was not closed and visitors continued entering and leaving.

Macron is tipped to beat the far right National Front candidate Marine Le Pen in the Sunday run-off.

Police said the checks were made as a precaution and that the situation in Louvre and its courtyard, where the election night event was going to be held, had returned to normal.

The second round of the election in France is being held amid tight security with reports suggesting that some 50,000 officers have been deployed to voting stations and other sites around France.

The Louvre was subject to a hate attack during the presidential campaign. Reports from Macron’s camp said most of those evacuated from the courtyard of the museum were journalists stationed in a makeshift press room.

Paris has been on edge since attacks in November, 2015, which left more than 110 people dead in a matter of a night. The tight race in the presidential vote has complicated the situation as authorities struggle to prevent any violence that could further mar the image of France during a state of emergency imposed across the country.

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