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At the same time Adolf Hitler was attempting to take over the western world, his armies were methodically seeking and hoarding the finest art treasures in Europe. The Fuehrer had begun cataloguing the art he planned to collect as well as the art he would destroy: "degenerate" works he despised. In a race against time, behind enemy lines, often unarmed, a special force of American and British museum directors, curators, art historians, and others, called the Momuments Men, risked their lives scouring Europe to prevent the destruction of thousands of years of culture. Focusing on the eleven-month period between D-Day and V-E Day, this fascinating account follows six Monuments Men and their impossible mission to save the world's great art from the Nazis.
"The previously untold story of a little-known WWII Allied division whose mission was to track down European art and treasures that had been looted by the Nazis at Hitler's command"--Provided by the publisher.
Robert M. Edsel brings the story of his #1 NYT bestseller for adults The Monuments Men to young readers for the first time in this dynamic, narrative nonfiction project packed with photos. Robert M. Edsel, #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Monuments Men, brings this story to young readers for the first time in a sweeping, dynamic adventure detailing history's greatest treasure hunt.As the most destructive war in history ravaged Europe, many of the world's most cherished cultural objects were in harm's way. The Greatest Treasure Hunt in History recounts the astonishing true story of 11 men and one woman who risked their lives amidst the bloodshed of World War II to preserve churches, libraries, monuments, and works of art that for centuries defined the heritage of Western civilization. As the war raged, these American and British volunteers -- museum curators, art scholars and educators, architects, archivists, and artists, known as the Monuments Men -- found themselves in a desperate race against time to locate and save the many priceless treasures and works of art stolen by Adolf Hitler and the Nazis.
Traces the lesser-known effort by an Allied division to find and secure European art that had been looted by the Nazis, outlining the dramatic story of how they risked their lives and raced against time with limited supplies and scraps of information, sometimes obtained from colorful sources. Reprint.
From the author of the #1 New York Times bestseller The Monuments Men: "An astonishing account of a little-known American effort to save Italy's…art during World War II." —Tom Brokaw When Hitler’s armies occupied Italy in 1943, they also seized control of mankind’s greatest cultural treasures. As they had done throughout Europe, the Nazis could now plunder the masterpieces of the Renaissance, the treasures of the Vatican, and the antiquities of the Roman Empire. On the eve of the Allied invasion, General Dwight Eisenhower empowered a new kind of soldier to protect these historic riches. In May 1944 two unlikely American heroes—artist Deane Keller and scholar Fred Hartt—embarked from Naples on the treasure hunt of a lifetime, tracking billions of dollars of missing art, including works by Michelangelo, Donatello, Titian, Caravaggio, and Botticelli. With the German army retreating up the Italian peninsula, orders came from the highest levels of the Nazi government to transport truckloads of art north across the border into the Reich. Standing in the way was General Karl Wolff, a top-level Nazi officer. As German forces blew up the magnificent bridges of Florence, General Wolff commandeered the great collections of the Uffizi Gallery and Pitti Palace, later risking his life to negotiate a secret Nazi surrender with American spymaster Allen Dulles. Brilliantly researched and vividly written, the New York Times bestselling Saving Italy brings readers from Milan and the near destruction of The Last Supper to the inner sanctum of the Vatican and behind closed doors with the preeminent Allied and Axis leaders: Roosevelt, Eisenhower, and Churchill; Hitler, Göring, and Himmler. An unforgettable story of epic thievery and political intrigue, Saving Italy is a testament to heroism on behalf of art, culture, and history.
Now a major film starring GEORGE CLOONEY, MATT DAMON, CATE BLANCHETT, BILL MURRAY, JOHN GOODMAN, HUGH BONNEVILLE, BOB BALABAN, JEAN DUJARDIN and DIMITRI LEONIDAS. What if I told you that there was an epic story about World War II that has not been told, involving the most unlikely group of heroes? What if I told you there was a group of men on the front lines who didn't carry machine guns or drive tanks; a new kind of soldier, one charged with saving, not destroying. From caves to castles in a thrilling race against time, these men risked their lives daily to save hundreds of thousands of the world's greatest works of art. THEY were the Monuments Men, and THIS is their extraordinary true story. 'Remarkable' Washington Post 'Engaging, inspiring' Publishers Weekly
An untold chapter in WWII history, the story of the corps of unlikely soldiers who saved Italy's most precious art and architecture from destruction.
A classic now back in print and enriched with new imagery, James J. Rorimer’s riveting first-hand account takes readers on a treasure hunt as he follows the Allied troops across France and Germany to save Nazi-stolen masterpieces of art. James J. Rorimer, former director of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, became a leading figure in the art recovery unit known as the Monuments Men, an elite group imbedded in the US Army, who risked their lives during World War II to save Europe’s greatest artworks from Hitler’s grasp. In the film Monuments Men, Matt Damon’s character is based on Rorimer as he embarks on the world’s most dangerous real-life hunt for stolen artworks with the goal of locating, seizing, and returning the works to their original holders, including museums and private collectors. This new edition of a book first published in 1950 includes the original illustrations from the first edition plus a wealth of new imagery and ephemera uncovered during extensive research, including WWII photo-graphs, many taken by Rorimer himself, that are accompanied by gorgeous reproductions of many of the Old Masters Rorimer helped save by artists such as Rembrandt, Leonardo da Vinci, Bruegel, Vermeer, Goya, Velazquez, and van Eyck. Maps created specially for this volume, and other facts about WWII history and geography, add new dimension to a remarkable story of courage, perseverance, and ultimately, triumph.
Winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award The real story behind the major motion picture The Monuments Men. The cast of characters includes Hitler and Goering, Gertrude Stein and Marc Chagall--not to mention works by artists from Leonardo da Vinci to Pablo Picasso. And the story told in this superbly researched and suspenseful book is that of the Third Reich's war on European culture and the Allies' desperate effort to preserve it. From the Nazi purges of "Degenerate Art" and Goering's shopping sprees in occupied Paris to the perilous journey of the Mona Lisa from Paris and the painstaking reclamation of the priceless treasures of liberated Italy, The Rape of Europa is a sweeping narrative of greed, philistinism, and heroism that combines superlative scholarship with a compelling drama.
This new volume tells the story of some of the paintings rescued by the the Monuments, Fine Arts and Archives (MFAA) organization, the so-called "Monuments Men." In December 1945, 202 paintings, found in German salt mines 2,100 feet underground, where they had been hidden to escape the allied bombing of Berlin, were brought to the United States "for safe keeping" by the Department of the Army. They were exhibited in 1948 at the National Gallery of Art, Washington DC, before some of them were sent on a whistle-stop tour of 13 US cities, despite furious opposition from museum directors, Gallery staff, the public, government officials, and a resolution from 98 leading art authorities demanding the immediate return of the works to Germany. All the paintings, examples of Flemish, Dutch, German, French, English, and Italian Schools, were from museums in Berlin, and had been found in April 1945, along with 100 tons of Reichsbank gold, by the special team of art historians and experts, seconded in the US army, and charged with locating and restituting works of art looted by the Nazis. This book is the first to consider the paintings themselves; it features 22 artworks that were in the original NGA exhibition, including four paintings on loan from Berlin, augmented by others from Cincinnati Art Museum, National Gallery of Art, Washington, The Getty Museum, Miami University (Oxford, OH), and the Taft Museum.