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How does one add an item to the “recently used” file list (from Python)?

I hope this is the right list to post this to. Apologies if it isn't.

I posted this question to Stack Overflow a few days ago, but have not
received any answers yet: http://stackoverflow.com/q/39836725/90848

I'm trying to add to the "recently used" files list from Python 3 on Ubuntu.

I am able to successfully read the recently used file list like this:

    from gi.repository import Gtk
    recent_mgr = Gtk.RecentManager.get_default()
    for item in recent_mgr.get_items():

This prints out the same list of files I see when I look at "Recent"
in Nautilus, or look at the "Recently Used" place in the file dialog
of apps like GIMP.

However, when I tried adding an item like this...

    # /home/laurence/foo/bar.txt is an existing text file

...the file does not show up in the Recent section of Nautilus or in
file dialogs. It doesn't even show up in the results returned by
recent_mgr.get_items(). The call to add_item returned True.

How can I add a file to the recently used file list from Python?

My end goal, is to make a script that can add a given file to the
recently used list from the command-line. I can then call that from
other scripts that generate files (for example, my script that makes
screengrabs), so that when one runs (usually in response to a keyboard
shortcut) I can easily get to its output from apps like GIMP,
Inkscape, etc.
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