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.

Latest Video

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.

___

Information from: The Record (Woodland Park, N.J.), http://www.northjersey.com

Stay informed! Sign up to receive top headlines delivered to your inbox each morning.

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
PLEASE TURN OFF YOUR CAPS LOCK.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.