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In May, Airbnb ran a competition giving two winners the chance to spend a night at the museum Courtesy of Airbnb. Photo: © Julian Abrams

Ian Brossat, Pariss city deputy mayor in charge of housing, has criticised the Louvre for teaming up with Airbnb, a move he says is “disastrous”. In May, Airbnb ran a competition giving two winners the chance to spend a night at the museum (“enjoy an aperitif with the Mona Lisa”, was the publicity tagline). This winter, guided tours of the museum, conducted every Tuesday when the Louvre is closed, can be booked via Airbnb whose “hosts” will show visitors key works (prices start at €30).

In a letter addressed to the French culture minister Franck Riester, Brossat writes: “This repeated use of a public institution [the Louvre] for commercial purposes by a digital giant is a shocking political gesture.” He wants the ministry, which oversees the museum, to intervene; Riester has not yet responded, Brossat says.

He adds that the Louvres decision is unwelcome in a city where “an increasing number of its inhabitants are more aware of the adverse consequences of Airbnb on the Parisian real estate market”, and also questions the companys fiscal contributions in France.

The move is controversial because “the purpose of these [Airbnb] marketing campaigns, endorsed by the [French] state, is to put a shine on a multinational Silicon Valley company in an institution symbolic of France [Louvre],” Brossat says.

The Communist politician has mounted a long-running campaign against the online rental firm, telling Le Parisien earlier this month that he wants to ban Airbnb rental apartments in the centre of Paris. “When we see that in the first, second, third and fRead More – Source