December 25, 2012
The world famous Paris museum Louvre said its new Islamic art wing helped cement its position as the world's most-visited museum with nearly 10 million visitors in 2012, over a million more than last year.
This is a 10% increase for 2012, in spite of the fact that the wing only opened in September.
The exact figures will be released early next year, but in the meantime the Paris museum said there was a "remarkable progression in Chinese visitors, who now figure in the top three groups (of non-French visitors) alongside Americans and Brazilians".
Next came Italians and Germans, it said in a statement that noted that its website had seen more than 11 million visitors and that its Facebook page had 800,000 followers.
The museum's new wing of Islamic art, with about 3000 precious works from the seventh to the 19th centuries, opened to the public in September and since then has attracted 650,000 visitors.
Costing nearly 100 million euros ($126 million), it is funded by the French government and supported by endowments from Saudi Arabia, Morocco, Kuwait, Oman and Azerbaijan.
"Islamic art boosts Paris museum visitors hitting 10 million in 2012" UNMID December 25, 2012
"Louvre tops museum list with Islamic art section "HÃ¼rriyet Daily News December 22, 2012