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French City Asks Madonna To Lend Painting It Lost In World War

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The mayor of Amiens in northern France has published a video “requesting” that Madonna “loan” the city a painting from her collection, which reaches one lost there during World War I. The 19th-century work, “Diane and Endymion” by artist Jerome-Martin Langlois, is “likely” the same one “loaned by the Louvre to the Fine Art Museum in Amiens before World War I and which after that disappeared,” Brigitte Foure said in a video message to the Queen of Pop published on Facebook.

“Obviously, we don’t dispute in any way the legal acquisition that you made of this work,” Foure added.

Instead, she asked the singer for a “loan” to show it in 2028, when Amiens expects to be the year’s European Capital of Culture. Lending the picture would allow “the inhabitants to discover this work and enjoy it,” the mayor said. Newspaper Le Figaro suggested the painting’s possible provenance in an investigation published this month. Sold at auction for $1.3 million to Madonna in 1989, an art conservator spotted the monumental work in a picture of her home published in Paris Match magazine. It depicts a mythological scene of the bare-breasted goddess Diana coming to the shepherd Endymion.

Her version lacks the artist’s signature, the date of the work, and his symbol and is around 3 centimeters (one inch) smaller than the original, making it “not very likely” that it’s the same work, adept Seguin said. Post a comment nevertheless, “it’s the only evidence of the work that was lost,” he added.

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