PARIS, Sept. 13 (UPI) -- Thousands of high-quality fake admission tickets to the Louvre Museum in Paris were seized by Belgian customs officials, who say they suspect Chinese forgers.
The entry tickets were sent in bundles from China to Chinese tour guides accompanying groups through the museum, the French television news channel France 24 reported Friday.
The Louvre, among the most visited tourist destinations in Paris, reported counterfeit tickets, worth up to 36 euros ($48) each, began appearing at the museum at the start of August.
"It (a ticket) felt strange to the touch, and the paper quality was not good," said an unidentified Louvre spokesman, adding other fake tickets of better quality began appearing in the following days.
At the end of August, Belgian customs officers notified French authorities they had found over 4,000 tickets, valued at 144,000 euros ($191,583), in a parcel sent from China, the French newspaper Le Parisien noted.
"There is no telling how many are in circulation and there is no way as yet of calculating the cost of this scam to the museum," the spokesman said.