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French city Amiens asks Madonna for loan of lost painting

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French city Amiens asks Madonna for loan of lost painting

The mayor of Amiens in northern France has released a video “requesting” that Madonna “loan” the city a painting from her personal collection, which resembles one lost there during World War I.

The 19th-century work, “Diane and Endymion” by artist Jerome-Martin Langlois, is “likely” the same one “loaned by the Louvre to the Fine Art Museum in Amiens before World War I and which subsequently disappeared”, Brigitte Foure said in a video message to the Queen of Pop posted on Facebook.

“Obviously, we don t dispute in any way the legal acquisition that you made of this work,” Foure added.

Instead she asked the singer for a “loan” to exhibit it in 2028, when Amiens hopes to be the year s European Capital of Culture.

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Lending the image would allow “the inhabitants to discover this work and enjoy it,” the mayor said.

The painting s possible provenance was suggested by newspaper Le Figaro in an investigation published this month.

Sold at auction for $1.3 million to Madonna in 1989, an art conservator spotted the monumental work in a photo of her home published in magazine Paris Match.

It represents a mythological scene of the bare-breasted goddess Diana approaching the shepherd Endymion.

“I m not certain that it s the actual painting”, but even if a copy, “it s extremely similar to the work” and “I d like the people of Amiens to be able to see it again,” Foure said.

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Langlois  original work was ordered in 1817 to decorate the royal Versailles palace outside Paris, said Francois Seguin, interim director of the Picardie Museum — formerly Amiens  Fine Art Museum.

It was loaned by Paris  Louvre Museum to the northern city from 1872, until being declared missing after World War I.

Madonna s painting “is almost certainly a copy, most likely by the artist himself”, the Louvre said when it exhibited the painting in 1988.

Her version lacks the artist s signature, the date of the work and his stamp, and is around 3 centimetres (one inch) smaller than the original, making it “not very likely” that it s the same work, expert Seguin said.

Nevertheless, “it s the only evidence of the work that was lost,” he added. 

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Feroze Khan’s lawyer files defamation suit against Muneeb Butt

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Feroze Khan's lawyer files defamation suit against Muneeb Butt

Faique Ali Jagirani, Feroze Khan’s advocate, filed a defamation suit against actor Muneeb Butt saying that the actor had tried to bring disrepute to his firm.

Actor Muneeb Butt took to Instagram and alleged that the lawyer of Feroze Khan was trying to increase his followers on YouTube.

Jagirani has now approached the FIA for action against Butt for “defaming” him and his firm.

The complaint was submitted on Friday by Jagirani to the FIA’s cyber crime wing. “Mr Muneeb Butt who is working in showbiz industry is defaming my law firm, namely Coopers Law Firm, and myself as a lawyer, without any reason on various social media platforms such as Instagram. Such act of Muneeb Butt has violated by constitutional right saved under Article 14 of the Constitution of Pakistan of 1973, inviolability of dignity of men etc. as well his malafide intention with ulterior motives to defame me and my law firm,” he wrote.

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Motown’s Smokey Robinson, Berry Gordy celebrated at pre-Grammy gala

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Motown's Smokey Robinson, Berry Gordy celebrated at pre-Grammy gala

Smokey Robinson and Berry Gordy, the visionary creative duo behind the revolutionary Motown genre, saw their legacy play out onstage Friday at a pre-Grammy gala honoring their life’s work.

From Robinson’s “The Tracks of My Tears” to “My Girl” songs, Motown defined the 1960s and influenced scores of artists that followed.

Gordy’s now iconic Motown Records, which the 93-year-old founded in Detroit in 1959, also played a pivotal role in uniting Black and white music fans in a decade convulsed by racial divisions.

Robinson was only 17 years old when he was recruited to join the label, where the balladeer became a prolific songwriter and seminal figure of the early days of R&B and soul.

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“There had never been anything like Motown before Motown,” the now 82-year-old artist told AFP on the red carpet. “There will never be anything like Motown again.”

The star-studded gala that this year included Motown prodigy Stevie Wonder is an annual pre-Grammy tradition from MusiCares, the charitable wing of the Recording Academy that raises money to help musicians in need.

Friday marked the first time the show honored two artists, a decision MusiCares said was necessary to fete the two musical legends “of equal and parallel esteem.”

“Both loom so large in music, and their stories are so intertwined, that picking just one as the MusiCares Person Of The Year — an honor previously bestowed on Joni Mitchell, Quincy Jones, Aerosmith, and other luminaries — would be a half-measure,” the institution said.

‘Motown family’

Industry darlings turned out in full Motown swing with performers including the Four Tops, the Isley Brothers, Dionne Warwick, John Legend and Brandi Carlile.

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The Temptations opened the show with a rollicking rendition of their smash hit “The Way You Do The Things You Do” and later crooned “My Girl” as Gordy and Robinson flashed megawatt smiles and bopped along.

Sheryl Crow belted out Jackson 5’s “I Want You Back” in a feathered, sparkling minidress, and Jimmie Allen performed “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough” with Valerie Simpson, who co-wrote that hit, which Marvin Gaye and later Diana Ross made famous.

A trio of Best New Artist Grammy nominees — DOMi and JD Beck, Samara Joy, and Molly Tuttle — did a genre-bending medley of Motown classics.

“How in the world did I get to be in the Motown family? How in the world did I get a chance to have a catalog and be sitting here in front of my two amazing mentors?” said Lionel Richie in a heartfelt tribute.

“You guys mean the world to me,” he said before singing “Easy,” the beloved track he made famous with the Commodores in a performance that bought the room to its feet.

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Wonder had the room standing once again as he delivered a reggae-tinged version of “Tears of a Clown.”

“I wouldn’t be here” without Robinson and Gordy, said Wonder — the virtuoso and music luminary who auditioned for Motown at just 11 years old.

“I can never repay you,” he said. “Thank you, I love you, thank you, I love you.”

“We should write a song like that!”

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Legendary singer Malika Pukhraj remembered on 19th death anniversary

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Legendary singer Malika Pukhraj remembered on 19th death anniversary

The 19th death anniversary of legendary folk and ghazal singer Malika Pukhraj is being observed on Saturday, Feb 4.

She was given the title of Malika due to talent and popularity. Her best work includes ghazals such as “Abhi To Main Jawan Hoon”, “Mare Qatil Mare Dildar Mere Paas Raho”, “Lo Phir Basant Aaye” and “Piya Baaj Piyala Piya Jaye Na”, among many others. These songs are still famous amongst music enthusiasts in Pakistan.

Pukhraj was born in 1912 in Hamirpur to a family of musicians. She was named Malika by a spiritual guru while her aunt, who was also a famous musician, gave her the name of Pukhraj.

The singer had been interested in music ever since her childhood and wanted to follow in her family’s footsteps. She received her early music education from Ustad Ali Baksh Kasuri, the father of famous vocalist Ustad Bade Ghulam Ali Khan.

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At the age of nine, Pukhraj performed in front of a huge crowd at the coronation ceremony of Maharaja Hari Singh. He was instantly impressed by the young talent and appointed her as a court singer in his darbar where she served for the next nine years.

After that, Pukhraj began singing professionally. During the 1940s, she emerged as a big singer and her popularity peaked on both sides of the border. After the creation of Pakistan, she chose to settle in Lahore and restarted her career in here with Radio Pakistan, receiving a great response. Pukhraj also branched into folk singing alongside her classical music.

In 1977, the singer was invited by the Indian government (as she worked at All India Radio before Partition) and was awarded the Legend of Voice Award. Following that, in 1980, Pukhraj was given the Pride of Performance Award by the government of Pakistan as well.

Pukhraj passed away in Lahore on Feb 4, 2004. She was survived by her daughter Tahira Syed, who is also an accomplished singer herself.

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