The Louvre Museum in Paris, one of the world's largest and most-visited museums, has been hit by a fake ticket scam after high-quality counterfeits were found in the hands of Chinese tourists in August, French media reported.
French police have launched an investigation after Belgian customs officers seized a package sent from China containing 3,600 fake entry tickets for the museum worth at least 144,000 euros (S$243,186), according to reports.
The incident also sparked sharp criticism on Weibo, China's version of Twitter, with many Chinese Internet users calling it a shameful incident that "seriously damages the image of Chinese people".
The Louvre, housing the Mona Lisa painting and the Venus de Milo sculpture, is one of the French capital's most-visited tourist sites, attracting more than 9 million people a year. Standard tickets for the museum cost between 11.6 euros and 13.6 euros.
The media office of the Louvre said the museum is cooperating with the police on the investigation but declined to disclose any details when contacted by China Daily.
A media officer who asked not to be named told China Daily that the museum is considering introducing an electronic ticket system to prevent future forgeries. But she added the decision is a long-term project that was initiated before the scam was discovered.