The French city of Amiens has called on the pop star Madonna to loan a painting that historians believe has been lost for years and may now reside in her collection. The request comes as the city bids to become elected the next European Capital of Culture in 2028.
In a video recording, the city’s mayor, Brigitte Fouré, made a plea to Madonna, saying, “There is a special link between you and our city.”
The painting in question, Diana and Endymion, has been attributed to Jérôme-Martin Langlois. Its last known public appearance was at a museum in Amiens before World War I. There’s no documentation of what’s happened to it since then.
The 19th-century painting was commissioned by the French King Louis XVIII and was at one point believed to have been destroyed in a bombing in 1918. According to the French publication Le Figaro, a work that was believed to either have been the original that disappeared from Amiens or a duplicate sold at a New York auction at Sotheby’s in 1989. Subsequent reports identified Madonna as the buyer who paid $1.3 million for the painting.
Madonna is known as a prolific collector of photography and works by Tamara de Lempicka, Marilyn Minter and Damien Hirst. An image of the work appeared in a 2015 article in Paris Match profiling Madonna’s collection, though it is unclear if Madonna is the current owner of the work or if the painting identified in the 2015 article is the original lost from the Amiens museum.
A representative from Warner Music Group, which works with Madonna, did not immediately respond to ARTnews‘s request for comment on the singer’s ownership of the work.