Become a Patron!
Of King François I’s Book of Hours

A historic acquisition that will bring an outstanding artwork back to France

October 24, 2017-February 15, 2018

This book of hours (prayer book), a manuscript bound in gold and precious stones, is an unparalleled treasure of French precious metalwork. It was presented by King François I to his niece Jeanne d’Albret, who was raised under his guardianship at the French court. Small prayers books were everyday objects, but this one is remarkably elaborate. Its later owners included King Henri IV and Cardinal Mazarin.
King François I’s Book of Hours is a unique vestige of the treasures of the House of Valois, dispersed in their entirety over the centuries. The book became the property of collectors in England in the early 18th century; its acquisition by the Louvre, for a total of around 10 million euros, would bring this Renaissance masterpiece back to France.
Thanks to the exceptional generosity of LVMH Moët Hennessy— Louis Vuitton, half of the required sum has already been obtained. On October 15, the Musée du Louvre launched a major crowdfunding campaign aimed at individuals and companies in the hope of raising 1 million euros before February 15.
The book of hours is presented within the framework of the exhibition François I and Dutch Art (October 18, 2017–January 15, 2018).

This unique masterpiece, listed as a French National Treasure, has been put up for sale by its London owner. In order to add it to the French national collections, the Louvre must raise 8 million pounds (about 10 million euros).
The museum is therefore appealing to public generosity with a new Become a Patron! crowdfunding campaign intended to raise 1 million euros before February 15, 2018.
LVMH Moët Hennessy – Louis Vuitton is actively committed to the success of the campaign; its generous donation of 5 million euros means that half the required sum is already secured. To reach the full amount, the museum is now targeting its fundraising efforts at major donors and the corporate community.


An artwork of great rarity
The collections of museums both in France and abroad have no equivalent of King François I’s Book of Hours. Apart from the Benvenuto Cellini’s salt cellar in Vienna, it is the only piece of precious metalwork directly associated with this king and is, to date, the only known precious French book binding from the reigns of François I and the last Valois kings.
This tiny handwritten prayer book (8.5 x 6.5 cm) is decorated with sixteen full-page painted illustrations and numerous illuminated initials. It can be dated thanks to the date 1532 that appears in its ornamentation.
King François I’s Book of Hours is a masterpiece of precious metalwork from the reign of François I. With its enameled gold binding, embellished with precious stones and two large, intaglio-engraved, oval carnelian plaques, it is also a monument to the jeweler’s art.


With the generous support of LVMH Moët Hennessy – Louis Vuitton


A new appeal to public patronage for this historic acquisition
Previous Become a Patron! campaigns have garnered strong support and demonstrated people’s interest in contributing, according to their means, to the enrichment of the Louvre’s collections. The 2016 campaign mobilized some 3,700 donors who raised a total of €670,000. This eighth rendezvous will further strengthen the relationship between the museum and the public.


Game: #GoFrançoisGo
Internet users can play a game called #GofrançoisGo, in which players must help François I put his book of hours together again and make his way to Chambord. Those who wish can take part in a draw to win a stay at Chambord, offered by our partners the Château de Chambord and the Relais de Chambord.


How to make a donation
Before February 15, 2018:
-online at
-by check, sent by post together with the form downloaded from


A major tax deduction
For French tax residents: regardless of the amount, 66% of your donation is eligible for an income tax deduction (up to 20% of your taxable income). Companies can also claim a significant deduction on their corporate tax.


The Louvre thanks its donors
All donors or the person of their choice will be acknowledged as patrons of the campaign on and in the museum near the artwork.
For €30 or more (or €10.20 after tax deduction), donors will receive an invitation for two people to discover the work.
For €200 or more (or €68 after tax deduction), donors will be invited to a private viewing of the work on a Tuesday, the day the museum is closed to the public, (invitation valid for two people).
For €350 or more (or €119 after tax deduction), donors will also benefit from the Amis du Louvre card for a year.
For €500 or more (or €170 after tax deduction), donors will be invited to an exclusive evening reception during which they will be able to admire King François I’s Book of Hours (invitation valid for two people), and they will also benefit from the Amis du Louvre card.


Watch our animated video on

Find out more about the campaign



Contacts presse

Christine Cuny

Tél. : +33 (0)1 40 20 51 42