The Bibliotheca Alexandrina (Latin for “Library of Alexandria”; Egyptian Arabic: مكتبة الإسكندرية Maktabet al-Eskendereyya, Egyptian Arabic: [mækˈtæb(e)t eskendeˈɾejjæ]) is a major library and cultural center on the shore of the Mediterranean Sea in Alexandria, Egypt. It is a commemoration of the Library of Alexandria, once one of the largest libraries worldwide, which was lost in antiquity. The idea of reviving the old library dates back to 1974 when a committee set up by Alexandria University selected a plot of land for its new library. Construction work began in 1995, and after some US$220 millions had been spent, the complex was officially inaugurated on 16 October 2002. In 2010, the library received a donation of 500,000 books from the Bibliothèque nationale de France (BnF). The gift makes the Bibliotheca Alexandrina the sixth-largest Francophone library in the world.