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Thursday, 4 October, 2001, 17:21 GMT 18:21 UK
Madonna hands over prized art
Madonna has denied claims she had a hernia operation
Madonna has finally handed over one of her treasured artworks to the Tate Modern gallery after a delay caused by the US attacks.

The singer has loaned a rarely-seen work by the late Mexican artist Frida Kahlo to the exhibition Surrealism: Desire Unbound.

But the painting could not be flown to London in time for the opening last month because of the terror attacks in the US.

Madonna has described handing over the picture, entitled Self Portrait with Monkey, was "like letting go of one of my precious children".

Salma Hayek
Salma Hayek is tipped to play Frida Kahlo in a film about the artist's life
The painting - Self Portrait with Monkey - is a key work in Madonna's private collection which is looked after by curator Darlene Lutz, who handed it over to the Tate.

Operation denied

Madonna added: "I know she will be in good hands and the exhibit would not be complete without her."

Kahlo, who died in 1940, denied being a surrealist painter but is widely-held that she had a big influence on the movement.

The singer, a serious art-lover, is to present this year's Turner Prize at London's Tate Britain gallery in December.

Meanwhile, rumours that Madonna has undergone an operation on a damaged hernia have been denied by her publicists.

US entertainment tabloid the National Enquirer reported the singer had to undergo surgery after being injured riding a bucking bronco during her Drowned World tour.

Madonna and Guy Ritiche
Madonna married Guy Ritchie at Scotland's Skibo Castle in Scotland
The paper quotes a "hospital source" who said the 43-year-old had performed through the pain barrier on the US leg of the tour because she did not want to let down fans.


The source said she checked into the Cedars-Sinai hospital shortly after the tour ended for surgery.

But her UK spokeswoman said the story was untrue and that Madonna was in fact in good health.

She suggested the star may have visited the Cedars-Sinai facility but that she did not have any treatment herself.

She added: "Madonna is currently filming in Europe so she is definitely fine."

Madonna's husband Guy Ritchie is directing her in the remake of the 1974 Italian romance Swept Away.

See also:

03 Aug 01 | Music
Madonna cancels concert
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