The museum campaigned to raise funds and more than 8500 donors responded to the call. It raised €1.4m from these donors and up to €7.9m is being donated from luxury group Louis Vuitton Moët Hennessy (LVMH) to enable the purchase.
The prayer book, made in 1532 for Francis I of France, has been in the UK since the 18th century and is being sold by London jewellery dealer SJ Phillips for £8m. Negotiations started in early 2015 and the deal was agreed in September 2017.
The Louvre said this price represents an “acquisition amount of between €9-10m depending on the price of pound sterling”.
The work is classified in France as a “major heritage interest” which allows the museum to benefit from contributions under corporate sponsorship rules.
The book is covered with an enamelled gold binding and precious stones and is decorated with 16 full-page paintings. It has been described as a “unique survivor of the luxurious books combining Flemish, French and Italian elements that typified the Renaissance culture of the court of Francis I of France”.
It is on view in the François room in the department of Objets d’Art in the Richelieu wing of the Louvre.