Security guards told a poor family visiting a Paris museum they had to leave because people were complaining about their smell, a charity official said.
The family was browsing a room with paintings by Van Gogh when guards told them they had to leave.
"I argued with the security man, telling him the family were all decent and properly dressed," said a worker with the charity Act for Dignity.
The director of the museum told French news sources he was saddened by the incident.
Claire Hedon, vice president of the charity, said she wrote to Aurelie Filippetti, the French culture minister, to complain about the incident.