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Madonna Auctioning Priceless Painting for Girls' Education Projects

Image courtesy of Kevin Mazur/WireImage (via ABC News Radio)
Image courtesy of Kevin Mazur/WireImage (via ABC News Radio)

Madonna has a pretty impressive art collection, but now she's prepared to let one of her pieces go...for a good cause.

The superstar has announced that auction house Sotheby's will be selling one of the valuable paintings in her collection on May 7, and the estimated five to seven million bucks it will bring in will all go to her Ray of Light charity foundation to support girls' education projects in Afghanistan, Pakistan and other countries where female education is rare or nonexistent. 

Madonna was very much affected by the story of a Pakistani woman who was murdered last month while traveling to her job as a teacher in an all-girls' school.  And during her tour last year, she often spoke out on stage about Malala, a teenage Pakistani schoolgirl who survived an assassination attempt on her way home from school.

In a statement, Madonna said, "I cannot accept a world where women or girls are wounded, shot or killed for either going to school or teaching in girls' schools.  We don't have time to be complacent.  I want to trade something valuable for something invaluable: Educating Girls!  Knowledge is power.  Let's change the world!"

The painting, a semi-abstract work called Three Women at a Red Table , is by legendary artist Fernand Léger , a giant in the Cubist art movement of the early 1900s.  It will go on exhibit in Sotheby's New York City galleries on May 3.  It's currently on view in Hong Kong, and will move to London later this month.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio