The rising floodwaters in Paris have prompted Louvre Museum officials to move valuable artworks to higher ground.
After days of heavy downpour, the Seine banks burst and overflowed onto roads, rail tracks and riverbanks across the French capital on Thursday, June 2.
The Louvre and Orsay museums have announced that they will be closed on Friday, June 3 to prepare for a possible flooding. Louvre Museum is in the process of shifting artworks to higher locations, including the famous "Mona Lisa" by Leonardo da Vinci.
According to a Louvre Museum spokeswoman, this kind of precaution is a first since they renovated in 1993. In fact, some of the Louvre's underground storerooms, which were created during the renovation 23 years ago, will not hold well during a potential flooding.
During the 1910 flooding in Paris, the Louvre Museum did move some precious artworks to higher floors. However, officials are reviewing if the same precautions had been conducted from that time all the way to 1993.
Approximately 200,000 artworks are sitting in areas that are vulnerable to floodwaters and majority of them are in the storerooms.
Across the river, the Orsay Museum is home to the biggest Impressionist and post-Impressionist art collection in the world. The museum closed early on Thursday so their "crisis management team" can make urgent flood preparations if the river's water level exceeds 18 feet.
"The museum has already transferred a good part of its reserves in outside storage buildings, as part of a prevention plan," the Orsay Museum said in a statement.
Experts speculate that the water level of the famous winding river in Paris will reach its highest level, about 18.4 feet by Friday afternoon.
The rising floodwaters have also prompted the Paris police to raise their flood warning to "orange" on Thursday for the areas surrounding Seine River.
This is the second to the highest floodwater warning. The raised warning suggests that the rising floodwaters could carry "a significant impact" on the residents and the buildings in the affected areas.
The flooding has also caused the French Open tennis tournament major delays. The heavy rains are expected to extend throughout the weekend.