French mayor urges Madonna to lend paintings of city lost in World War II


Sitting in front of a print of a large Neoclassical painting, Brigitte Fouré, the mayor of a city and commune in northern France, appeal to an unsuspecting person found through the camera.

“Madonna,” began Fouré, addressing the pop star, “you may not know the city of Amiens, where I have the honor of being mayor. However, in the past few days, there has been a special bond between you and the city.”

That connection? Madonna, Fouré said, may have bought in 1989 a 19th-century work of art – “Diana and Endymion” by Jérôme-Martin Langlois – which had been missing from Amiens’ prestigious museum for more than a century. in the midst of the World’s attack. Battle I.

And now, the city wants to return on the loan because it is trying to be named a “European Capital of Culture” for 2028 by the European Union. It is a symbol that includes the celebration of art and heritage, and often promotes tourism.

But it’s not clear if Madonna bought the painting – or if what she’s saying is just a photo.

This month, the French newspaper Le Figaro published a report about the history of the picture and what it claimed to have been acquired by Madonna at a sale in New York 34 years ago. Representatives for the singer did not respond to requests for comment.

Sotheby’s assistant press officer, Adrienne DeGisi, told the Washington Post that the art firm and dealer could not comment on who bought the painting. A copy of the original catalog of October 1989, prepared by DeGisi, describes the painting sold by Sotheby’s as a “model” with the same name and the same scale as the original Langlois painting, “now destroyed .”

The purchase price at the time, he added, was $440,000. The archive also mentions the artist’s heir Marianne Froté-Langlois, who DeGisi said “thought that the painting was a portrait of Amiens that had previously been lost.”

According to Le Figaro, the museum manager saw the painting in Madonna’s house published by Paris Match, a weekly magazine, in 2015. It had long been thought that it could not be seen – or destroyed in the war.

But the newspaper noted, there is no signature or stamp on the painting. It was also reported that the size of the original image and the image that was sold differed by about 3 centimeters, or 1.2 inches.

The painting shows three figures: the Roman goddess Diana, the shepherd prince Endymion and a small Cupid-like figure floating between them. It was commissioned by Louis XVIII in the early 19th century and was intended to hang in Versailles, Le Figaro reported.

Fouré urged the people of Amiens to repeat his call to bring the statue home for a while.

“Amienois, Amiénis, you also have a role to play,” he said in the video. “Share this message as much as possible to reach Madonna! I trust you!”

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