The mayor of Amiens, in northern France, has asked Madonna to lend the town a 19th-century painting lost during World War I that he believes may have been bought by the singer, to help her chances of becoming in European Capital of Culture.
The painting “Diana and Endymion” by Jerome-Martin Langlois, depicting the Roman goddess Diana looking lovingly at the handsome Endymion, was once on display in a museum in Amiens but was lost after Germany bombed the city in 1918 .
The French newspaper Le Figaro reported that the painting, or a nearly identical one, went up for sale at auction in New York 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 to be the European Capital of Culture in 2028.
“We do not question in any way the legal acquisition that he has made, but we are candidates to be the European Capital of Culture in 2028. That is why I would like that on this occasion, this year, he could lend us his painting”, mayor of Amiens. Brigitte Foure said in a video posted on Facebook.
The painting was commissioned by the French King Louis XVIII for the Diana Room in the Palace of Versailles and purchased by the State in 1873.
Foure said the painting was likely loaned to the Amiens museum by the Louvre before World War I, after which Amiens lost track of it.
Madonna has just announced 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.