PARIS (AP) — The spreading coronavirus epidemic has shut down the Louvre Museum in Paris.

A union representative for Louvre staffers said Sunday that workers who guard its huge trove of artworks are fearful of being contaminated by the museum's flow of visitors from around the world.

The Louvre itself said a staff meeting about virus prevention efforts had stopped the museum from opening as scheduled Sunday morning.

By Sunday afternoon, frustrated would-be visitors were still waiting to get inside the world's most famous museum.

The Louvre welcomed 9.6 million visitors last year. More meetings on virus prevention at the museum were scheduled for Monday.