The Palace of Versailles and the Louvre art museum were evacuated Saturday for bomb threats as tensions relating to the Israel-Hamas war continue to ripple throughout the West, The Associated Press reported.
French authorities evacuated civilian visitors and staff from the locations after as of yet unidentified individuals made bomb threats on Saturday, according to the AP. The bomb threats made against the two culturally significant French locations comes after the French government’s decision to activate an “urgent” terrorism threat level alert on Friday.
Police and other law enforcement personnel searched both locations for potential explosive devices, though no such devices have been located on either site, according to the AP. Tensions have flared in the West over the Israel-Hamas war, which was precipitated by Hamas’ brutal murder of at least 1,300 people, rape of women and kidnapping of scores of people to hold as hostages in the Gaza Strip last Saturday.
A suspected radical Islamist murdered a teacher and injured three others at a French school on Friday, according to the AP, elevating fears of further potential terror attacks by radical Muslims. The French government deployed around 7,000 soldiers throughout the country on Friday to prepare for any potential violence.
The Louvre, which holds pieces of priceless art such as the Mona Lisa, receives as many as 40,000 visitors each day, according to the AP. The Palace of Versailles, one of the grandest architectural works on the planet that formerly housed the French royalty, receives as many as 15 million visitors each year, according to the French government.
The bomb threats and France’s elevated threat level come on the heels of Hamas’ call for Muslims around the world to engage in a day of “jihad” as Israel begins to strike back against the terrorist organization.
Nick Pope on October 14, 2023