French City mayor pleads with Madonna over a missing painting that was lost in war.

  • French museum finds a missing painting in Madonna’s personal collection

  • French city believes may own artwork lost in war – and asks for loan

French City mayor pleads with Madonna over a missing painting that was lost in war.
French City mayor pleads with over a missing painting that was lost in war.

So it occurs that a museum in Amiens, France, has traced an oil painting back to none other than the queen of pop herself, .

A painting was thought to have been destroyed when Amiens, France, was attacked during World War I, but it was discovered behind pop icon when she appeared in Paris Match magazine.

The mayor of Amiens, Brigitte Fouré, is now pleading with to lend her a painting, Diana and Endymion, presumed to be by Jérôme-Martin Langlois, in support of her city’s ambition to be named the European Capital of Culture in 2028.

“Madonna, you probably haven’t heard of Amiens … but there is a special link between you and our city,” Fouré says in her video appeal.

This painting is probably a work that was lent to the Amiens museum by the Louvre before the first world war after which we lost trace of it,” she adds.


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The oil painting was finished in 1822 after being ordered by Louis XVIII for the Salon of Diane in the Palace of Versailles, and it was purchased by the French republic in 1873. It was on display at the Musée des Beaux- in Amiens, which is now the Musée de Picardie, starting in 1878, but it was assumed that it had been destroyed when the city was bombed in 1918.

According to a recent story in Le Figaro, the painting—or one that is nearly identical to it but lacks Langlois’ signature and any date—returned in 1989 at a New York auction, when offered $1.3 million for it, more than three times its estimated value.

At the time, it did not appear that anyone in France recognised the painting as being by Langlois, but in 2015, an Amiens curator saw it in the foreground of a portrait of taken at her and published in Paris Match magazine.

The Germans bombarded Amiens with shells and explosives for 28 days and nights in March 1918 in an effort to breach allied defences. This led to the destruction of much of the city, including a portion of the museum, whose artwork was evacuated for safety.

The Langlois was missing when they were brought back to Amiens after the war. After being first described as “untraceable after the return of the 1918 removed works,” it was subsequently described as having been “destroyed by the falling of a bomb on the museum.”

The painting bought is 3cm smaller than the artwork that disappeared in Amiens, leading experts to wonder if it is the original with the signature and date removed or a copy.

The museum has lodged legal action against “persons unknown” for the theft of the painting, none of which Fouré says need concern Madonna.

“Clearly, we don’t contest in any that you have acquired this work legally,” Fouré says in her message to the singer … could you lend us this work for the occasion of our bid to become European capital of culture in 2028 so our local inhabitants can rediscover this work and enjoy it?

“That is my prayer, the wish I am presenting to you.”

The singer is yet to respond to the request.

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