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French museum finds a missing painting in Madonna's personal collection

AILSA CHANG, HOST:

So, Ari, if you're trying to track down some missing art, you might want to check the collections of the rich and famous.

ARI SHAPIRO, HOST:

Yeah. So it happens a museum in Amiens, France, has managed to trace an oil painting to none other than the queen of pop herself, Madonna.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "VOGUE")

MADONNA: (Singing) Come on. Vogue. Let your body move to the music.

SHAPIRO: The painting, thought to be by Jerome-Martin Langlois, was commissioned by Louis the XVIII to hang in Versace. It was completed in 1822 and eventually moved to the Musee de Picardie in Amiens.

CHANG: But when the city was bombed during World War I, the painting was believed to have been destroyed. That was until it was spotted behind Madonna when she appeared in Paris Match magazine.

SHAPIRO: The pop singer had bought it at an auction back in 1989.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

BRIGITTE FOURE: (Speaking French).

SHAPIRO: This is the mayor of the Amiens, Brigitte Foure, reaching out to Madonna in a video message, asking for a loan.

CHANG: Amiens is in the running to be named the cultural capital of Europe, which will be decided by the European Union in 2028. The city is hoping that a loan and a possible visit from Madonna herself will raise its profile on the cultural map.

SHAPIRO: The singer hasn't responded yet, but we will be watching to see if the museum has the painting hung up on its walls soon.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "HUNG UP")

MADONNA: (Singing) I'm hung up. I'm hung up on you. Waiting for your call, baby, night and day - I'm fed up. I'm tired of waiting on you. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.