Europe

Frances Versailles to re-open after Covid-19 lockdown ease

Issued on: 05/06/2020 – 16:32Modified: 05/06/2020 – 16:32

France's sumptuous Palace of Versailles, built in the 17th century by the "Sun King" Louis XIV, throws its doors open to the public again on Saturday but with little certainty over when tourists will return as lockdown curbs are slowly eased.

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Workers on Friday dusted the Hall of Mirrors and polished its gilded statues ahead of the reopening, which will see visitors required to wear face masks and follow a one-way route through the opulent 2,300-room complex.

The coronavirus crisis has dealt a heavy financial blow to the palace and France's other leading cultural attractions. Ticket sales to the eight million people who passed through the palace gates in 2019 made up 75% of revenues. Four in every five visitors is foreign.

"This financial model has been devastated. We have to start again," Catherine Pegard, who runs the palace, told Reuters. "We're not the only ones."

Louis XIV craved the palace as a symbol of Frances prominence as a European superpower and his perceived divine right to wield absolute power. It remained the principle royal residence until the French Revolution and the overthrow of the monarchy nearly eight decades after his death.

The palace is one of the most visited sites France, itselRead More – Source