Saudi Prince Alwaleed bin Talal Alsaud Will Give Entire $32 Billion Fortune to Charity

He is the main donor to the Louvre's Islamic art wing.

Saudi Prince Alwaleed bin Talal—who is #34 on the Forbes list of billionaires—announced today that he will donate his entire $32 billion fortune to charity, according to reports in the Financial Times and elsewhere.

Alwaleed is the main donor to the Islamic art wing at the Louvre museum in Paris.

The Islamic wing at the Louvre was opened in Septmber 2012

The Islamic wing at the Louvre was opened in Septmber 2012. <br>Image: via Alwaleed

The Saudi prince has also donated to institutions studying Islam and the Middle East, including funding centers at Harvard, Georgetown, Cambridge and Edinburgh universities.

Alwaleed became involved in philanthropic work in the 1980s and has recently restructured his charitable institutions into Alwaleed Philanthropies.

The prince told reporters in Riyadh that the move was inspired by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, which gives away about $4 billion a year to various charitable causes.

According to the FT, the prince said his wealth would be put towards battling the devastating effects of war and natural disaster, and difficult economic and social conditions around the world. He called it his “living will” and a “commitment to all humankind.”

The Islamic wing, the first of its kind at the Louvre, was unveiled in September 2012. A total of 10,000 historical pieces, including Islamic glasswork, ceramics, Ottoman-era art, and one of the world’s most important carpet collections, are housed in a space designed by architects Rudy Ricciotti and Mario Bellini.

According to the Alwaleed charities website, Alwaleed said: “The Louvre Museum’s Department of Islamic Art assists in the understanding of the true meaning of Islam, a religion of humanity and the acceptance of other cultures. It is a positive symbol, reinforcing understanding between Western and Islamic cultures and civilizations.”

For related news see:

Are Mega-Philanthropists Like Bill Gates Neglecting the Arts?

Philanthropist Saves Priceless Piero della Francesca Masterpiece

Forbes 2015 Ranking of Billionaires Features Art Players Aplenty

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