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A French city asks Madonna to lend it a painting lost in 1918

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A French city asks Madonna to lend it a painting lost in 1918

BRUSSELS: The mayor of Amiens in northern France has asked Madonna to lend the city a 19th-century painting lost during World War I which he says may have been bought by the singer, in order to strengthen its chances of becoming European Capital of Culture.

Jérôme-Martin Langlois’ painting “Diana and Endymion”, which depicts the Roman goddess Diana gazing lovingly at the handsome Endymion, was once on display in a museum in Amiens but was lost after the city was bombed by Germany in 1918.

French daily Le Figaro reported that the painting, or a nearly identical painting, was offered for sale at a New York auction in 1989 where Madonna paid $1.3 million for it.

There was no immediate response from a Madonna spokesperson to an emailed request for comment.

Amiens, where French President Emmanuel Macron was born, is a candidate for the title of European Capital of Culture in 2028.

“We in no way dispute the legal acquisition you have made, but we are candidates to be European Capital of Culture in 2028. So I would like that on this occasion, this year, you could lend us your painting”, said declared the mayor of Amiens. said Brigitte Fouré in a video posted on Facebook.

The painting was commissioned by the French King Louis XVIII for the Salle Diane of the Palace of Versailles and purchased by the State in 1873.

Fouré said the painting was probably lent to the Amiens museum by the Louvre before World War I, after which Amiens lost track of it.

Madonna has just announced the European dates for her “The Celebration Tour” where she will perform in Paris – less than two hours by train from Amiens – on November 11 and 12, 2023.

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