An investigation into the claims by France 2 TV show l’Angle Éco - and seen by newspaper Le Parisien - suggested that tickets to the famous attraction were regularly being sold and resold by illegal dealers.
The report claimed that Chinese tourists were most likely to be using invalid tickets, as Chinese travel agents were among those alleged to be deliberately reusing them.
A hidden camera showed agents buying day tickets costing at least €15 each, and giving them to a group of Chinese tourists while they queued outside the famous glass pyramids.
When the same tourists exited the museum later, their tickets were taken back by the agents and given to a brand new group.
A Louvre guide suggested that the practice had been an open secret, saying: “There are agencies in China that organise the rotation of groups on the basis of reusing tickets.”
If the claims are found to be true - to the extent suggested by the enquiry - the practice could be damaging the Louvre to the tune of over €1 million per year.
The Louvre management has now approached the police, who have opened their own investigation into the allegations.
France is one of the top tourist destinations for the growing numbers of middle class Chinese tourists travelling to Europe.
Figures suggest that over 700,000 Chinese tourists visit the Louvre every year.
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