The Musee du Louvre or the Louvre Museum in Paris, established in 1793, is one of the largest and the most visited museum in the world. It houses nearly 35,000 objects and artifacts from prehistoric times to the 19th century and receives nearly 9 million visitors each year.
One of the largest and most famous collections at the museum relates to Islamic art, which spans 13 centuries and three continents. The exhibits, more than 5,000 in number, include ceramics, glass, metalware, wood, ivory, carpets, textiles and miniature.
A new wing of the museum, which houses thousands of precious objects and artifacts from the Islamic world, opened in September 2012. Inaugurated by the French President Francois Hollande, the wing boasts the largest collection of Islamic art in Europe. The work on the new galleries took ten years and cost more than 100 million euros. The new wing has been financed in part by the French government and the governments of Saudi Arabia, Oman, Morocco and Kuwait. The Saudi billionaire, Prince Alwaleed bin Talal, has contributed 17 million euros to the new wing, the largest single monetary contribution ever given to the museum.
Prince Alwaleed, whose net worth exceeds $20 billion, ranks 26th on Forbesís list of billionaire philanthropists. During the past 30 years, he has donated over $2.4 billion to charities in 70 countries.