Lost Rodin sculp­ture found in New Jer­sey

El Dorado News-Times - - Fun & Games -

MADI­SON, N.J. (AP) — A bust of Napoleon by French sculp­tor Au­guste Rodin long thought to be lost was found on dis­play in a New Jer­sey bor­ough hall where it sat for 85 years.

The bust's ori­gin was con­firmed in 2015, but of­fi­cials waited to re­veal the mul­ti­mil­lion dol­lar art­work was a long-lost piece by Rodin on Wed­nes­day. The own­ers of the bust an­nounced it will be leav­ing the Madi­son bor­ough hall on loan to the Philadel­phia Mu­seum of Art, The Record re­ported .

The au­then­ti­ca­tion was made in per­son by Jerome Le Blay, an in­ter­na­tional ex­pert in mod­ern sculp­ture. Phi­lan­thropist Geral­dine Rock­e­feller Dodge pur­chased the sculp­ture af­ter it was ex­hib­ited at the Metropoli­tan Mu­seum of Art from 1915 to 1929. Of­fi­cials be­lieve Dodge do­nated the bust along with other art to the bor­ough hall around 1942. There, the bust sat for decades as its record was lost to time.

Madi­son Mayor Robert Con­ley was im­pressed by the news that con­firmed town ru­mors.

"I'd al­ways heard the ru­mor it was a Rodin, but of course you hear all sorts of ru­mors. So to have it ac­tu­ally ver­i­fied was quite impressive," Con­ley said. "To think that we've had peo­ple walk­ing past it for years, not re­al­iz­ing the great piece of art they were sit­ting next to, or stand­ing next to dur­ing a coun­cil meet­ing."

The sculp­ture is es­ti­mated to be worth between $4 mil­lion to $12 mil­lion, ac­cord­ing to ex­perts.

Hart­ley Dodge Foun­da­tion pres­i­dent Ni­cholas Platt isn't sure when the Rodin will re­turn to its home in the bor­ough hall. The Met has ex­pressed in­ter­est in the bust, ac­cord­ing to Platt.

Con­ley is happy with plans for the bor­ough's piece of his­tory.

"Art is meant to be ap­pre­ci­ated, and the more it can be ap­pre­ci­ated the bet­ter," Con­ley said.

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