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The True Story of the Monuments Men
Smithsonian ^ | 2-7-14 | Jim Morrison

Posted on 02/09/2014 9:04:29 AM PST by afraidfortherepublic

Captain Robert Posey and Pfc. Lincoln Kirstein were the first through the small gap in the rubble blocking the ancient salt mine at Altausee, high in the Austrian Alps in 1945 as World War II drew to a close in May 1945. They walked past one sidechamber in the cool damp air and entered a second one, the flames of their lamps guiding the way.

There, resting on empty cardboard boxes a foot off the ground, were eight panels of The Adoration of the Lamb by Jan van Eyck, considered one of the masterpieces of 15th-century European art. In one panel of the altarpiece, the Virgin Mary, wearing a crown of flowers, sits reading a book.

"The miraculous jewels of the Crowned Virgin seemed to attract the light from our flickering acetylene lamps," Kirstein wrote later. "Calm and beautiful, the altarpiece was, quite simply, there."

Kirstein and Posey were two members of the Monuments, Fine Arts, and Archives section of the Allies, a small corps of mostly middle-aged men and a few women who interrupted careers as historians, architects, museum curators and professors to mitigate combat damage. They found and recovered countless artworks stolen by the Nazis.

(Excerpt) Read more at smithsonianmag.com ...


TOPICS: Arts/Photography; Books/Literature; Business/Economy; History
KEYWORDS: godsgravesglyphs; hitler; italy; monumentsmen; movies; recovery; thevenusfixers; ww2
Go to the link and read the story at the Smithsonian site. There are many pictures, videos, and related links there to explore.

All in all, I think the movie of the same name did a credible job of portraying this remarkable page of history.

1 posted on 02/09/2014 9:04:29 AM PST by afraidfortherepublic
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To: SoFloFreeper; jocon307

Ping for the Smithsonian view of this event.


2 posted on 02/09/2014 9:08:22 AM PST by afraidfortherepublic
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To: afraidfortherepublic

"Adoration of the Mystic Lamb," also known as the Ghent Altarpiece, by Jan van Eyck was one of the most notable works found in the Altausse mine. (Wikicommons)

3 posted on 02/09/2014 9:11:34 AM PST by afraidfortherepublic
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To: SunkenCiv

Ancients plunder PING


4 posted on 02/09/2014 9:12:55 AM PST by a fool in paradise ("Health care is too important to be left to the government.")
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To: afraidfortherepublic

.


5 posted on 02/09/2014 9:13:06 AM PST by skinkinthegrass (The end move in politics is always to pick up a gun..0'Caligula / 0'Reid / 0'Pelosi)
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To: afraidfortherepublic

very cool..I don’t like those main actors, but I still will see the movie for the real brave men’s sake!


6 posted on 02/09/2014 9:16:12 AM PST by fabian (" And a new day will dawn for those who stand long, and the forests will echo in laughter")
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To: afraidfortherepublic

Unidentified G.I. holding a painting of the Madonna and Child, at Altaussee, Austria, 1945. Annotations by Lt. Cdr. Thomas Carr Howe on the verso of the photograph: "Altaussee, Summer 1945. A G.I. holding a Sch. of Leonardo da Vinci [Madonna and Child] taken – to Göring’s fury – from Monte Cassino. He rejected this painting and many others when they were presented to him by members of his air force. It was not proper to loot the holdings of an ally (Italy). Curious morality!" (Thomas Carr Howe papers, Archives of American Art)

7 posted on 02/09/2014 9:18:27 AM PST by afraidfortherepublic
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To: afraidfortherepublic

just saw the movie - very good.


8 posted on 02/09/2014 9:19:20 AM PST by The Right Stuff
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To: a fool in paradise

The real story here is that the Americans saved these works of art and RETURNED them to their rightful owners whenever possible. What other country RETURNS plunder to its owners? That has always been the US badge of honor. We don’t keep conquered lands, and we don’t keep stolen valuables. At least, that is what I was taught.


9 posted on 02/09/2014 9:21:13 AM PST by afraidfortherepublic
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To: fabian

The movie was a good depiction, all in all.


10 posted on 02/09/2014 9:22:18 AM PST by afraidfortherepublic
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To: fabian

I don’t like the slate of liberal pukes starring in it either. I’m going to wait for them to come on my DirectV premium channels or to Netflix. No theater or DVD/BRD for me - not for them.


11 posted on 02/09/2014 9:29:10 AM PST by Gaffer (Comprehensive Immigration Reform is just another name for Comprehensive Capitulation)
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To: afraidfortherepublic

The movie looks interesting. We don’t go to the movies much, but we’ll get it from Netflix.


12 posted on 02/09/2014 9:29:14 AM PST by SuziQ
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To: afraidfortherepublic
That has always been the US badge of honor. We don’t keep conquered lands, and we don’t keep stolen valuables

Ha! Dude, you gotta qualify that remark and make it Military-only or something like that.

This government plunders our wealth and futures DAILY, they steal your blood, sweat and tears daily to give it to leeches and line their pockets.

13 posted on 02/09/2014 9:31:58 AM PST by Gaffer (Comprehensive Immigration Reform is just another name for Comprehensive Capitulation)
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14 posted on 02/09/2014 9:34:37 AM PST by RedMDer (are sHappy with this, America? Make your voices heard. 2014 is just around the corner. ~ Sarah Palin)
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To: afraidfortherepublic

I don’t know about the rest of the Italian stuff, but the pieces from Monte Cassino were saved through one of the few civilized acts of the Wehrmacht. Kesselring and the local commander Von Senger prompted and assisted the Augustinian monks in evacuating the art and archives of the abbey, as it was in the front line and at risk of destruction, and it was in fact destroyed. But much if not all its valuable contents were saved.


15 posted on 02/09/2014 9:39:29 AM PST by buwaya
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To: The Right Stuff

I Just saw the movie. TOTAL WASTE OF TIME


16 posted on 02/09/2014 9:42:50 AM PST by bobrlbob
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To: afraidfortherepublic
The real story here is that the Americans saved these works of art and RETURNED them to their rightful owners whenever possible. What other country RETURNS plunder to its owners? That has always been the US badge of honor. We don’t keep conquered lands, and we don’t keep stolen valuables. At least, that is what I was taught.

Shirley, you jest :)

17 posted on 02/09/2014 9:49:25 AM PST by onona (The entitlement army doesnÂ’t vote for candidates, they vote for gravy.)
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To: SuziQ

I thought the movie was horrible. What a boring and disjointed way of telling what could have been a very interesting story.


18 posted on 02/09/2014 9:51:43 AM PST by RightFighter (It was all for nothing.)
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To: afraidfortherepublic
Saw the movie last night. This has been one aspect of WWII that has long intrigued me, and in fact, did a few term papers on plundered WWII art in college.

I think the movie was somewhere in the "decent to good," range, but a little better screenwriting could have taken it to the, "very good to excellent" range.

In spite of the liberal assemblage in the cast, I think there was an almost unwitting theme of the value and worth of preserving the signs and symbols of western civilization. I was quite surprised to see Catholic priests presented in a somewhat heroic light and the Soviets in a less than flattering one.

As an aside, this month marks the 45th anniversary of the original broadcast of Sir Kenneth Clark's Civilisation series which first aired on the BBC from February - May 1969.

Clark was appointed director of the British National Gallery at the age of 30, and was instrumental in overseeing the cataloging and relocation of the collection to country homes and other locations during the blitz.

I can highly recommend the Civilisation series for anybody who has not seen it: art history the way it should be taught.

01 OF 13 - Civilisation: The Skin of Our Teeth

19 posted on 02/09/2014 9:55:22 AM PST by Joe 6-pack (Qui me amat, amat et canem meum.)
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To: Joe 6-pack

Thank you, Joe.


20 posted on 02/09/2014 10:00:56 AM PST by Lurker (Violence is rarely the answer. But when it is it is the only answer.)
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To: Joe 6-pack

I agree with all you say.


21 posted on 02/09/2014 10:02:10 AM PST by afraidfortherepublic
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To: afraidfortherepublic; Lurker
I can also recommend this book for those really interested in the subject of the recovery of art in the late and post war period. I'm a somewhat vociferous reader of anything I can find on the topic, and for my money this is one of the best tomes I've yet read:


22 posted on 02/09/2014 10:06:37 AM PST by Joe 6-pack (Qui me amat, amat et canem meum.)
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To: afraidfortherepublic

Where is the fat guy?


23 posted on 02/09/2014 10:25:49 AM PST by ansel12 (Ben Bradlee -- JFK told me that "he was all for people's solving their problems by abortion".)
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To: buwaya

What part, if any, does the collection of religious art at The Cloisters have in all of this?


24 posted on 02/09/2014 10:38:53 AM PST by loveliberty2
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To: loveliberty2

My comment was merely with respect to the post above concerning the painting marked as being from Monte Cassino.


25 posted on 02/09/2014 10:49:59 AM PST by buwaya
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To: afraidfortherepublic

My husband and I saw the movie Friday night. We really enjoyed it and are glad we went to see it.


26 posted on 02/09/2014 11:17:52 AM PST by aberaussie
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To: skinkinthegrass

Good article. Now I won’t have to consider suffering through yet another ClooneyDamon “I love me” bomb.


27 posted on 02/09/2014 1:52:54 PM PST by DPMD
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To: a fool in paradise; StayAt HomeMother; Ernest_at_the_Beach; decimon; 1010RD; 21twelve; 24Karet; ...
I liked the first third or so of the book "The Venus Fixers", never finished it. I have no interest in seeing George Clooney in the current movie. Thanks a fool in paradise.

28 posted on 02/09/2014 1:58:45 PM PST by SunkenCiv (http://www.freerepublic.com/~mestamachine/)
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To: SunkenCiv
I have no interest in seeing George Clooney

either, buttttt, hes having my baby

29 posted on 02/09/2014 2:07:51 PM PST by bigheadfred
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To: DPMD
"Clooney/Damon “I love me” bomb."
perish the thought...surprised John Goodman took role.

30 posted on 02/09/2014 2:14:48 PM PST by skinkinthegrass (The end move in politics is always to pick up a gun..0'Caligula / 0'Reid / 0'Pelosi)
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To: Joe 6-pack

Speaking of western culture, we’re fast losing what little remains of that which so many have died to try to preserve. And it appears many more lives will be lost if we’re to save what’s left — if we can.

And, no, this is NOT off topic.

WOMAN’S LIB AND ISLAM

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E0cS4p9cFlo&feature=c4-overview&list=UUFDlhK80EdO28R-iGTXiGaw


31 posted on 02/09/2014 2:24:43 PM PST by Dick Bachert (Ignorance is NOT BLISS. It is the ROAD TO SERFDOM! We're on a ROAD TRIP!!)
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To: Joe 6-pack

I remember seeing a few episodes of the Civilisation series many years ago. I wonder if Netflix has them.


32 posted on 02/09/2014 5:24:25 PM PST by SuziQ
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To: SuziQ

All 13 episodes are on youtube :-)


33 posted on 02/09/2014 5:27:22 PM PST by Joe 6-pack (Qui me amat, amat et canem meum.)
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To: afraidfortherepublic

Honesty and trustworthiness are the hallmarks of both great people and nations. We now live in the Age of Distrust. What does that tell you?


34 posted on 02/09/2014 7:10:02 PM PST by 1010RD (First, Do No Harm)
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To: afraidfortherepublic

I will not go to see this movie because of the leftist actors who spout out their leftist dribble at us.


35 posted on 02/09/2014 7:21:52 PM PST by stockpirate (It appears good men have decided to do nothing, so evil is prevailing......)
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To: TheMom

Ping.


36 posted on 02/09/2014 8:00:03 PM PST by Eaker (Sweat dries, blood clots and bones heal so suck it up buttercup.)
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To: stockpirate

You will miss a very good (not great) movie that has no apparent leftism in it.


37 posted on 02/09/2014 9:28:03 PM PST by afraidfortherepublic
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To: stockpirate
I will not go to see this movie because of the leftist actors who spout out their leftist dribble at us.

Me neither. I don't care how great a movie is, I will not subsidize these leftist/Marxist, America hating actors and entertainment companies with my hard earned $$$$.

I am doing my part to starve the beast by not subsidizing these filthy America hating actors and entertainment companies - more conservatives and like minded American Patriots need to do the same, to really put a financial hurt on these anti-American actors and entertainment companies and send them a loud, financial message they will hear loud and clear!!!

38 posted on 02/09/2014 9:40:56 PM PST by dsm69 (Boycott News Media/Hollywood Advertisers)
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To: SunkenCiv

The Army organized the European Civil Affairs Division (ECAD) to run the occupation of Germany and oversee local government. Part of their mission was also to seize and secure art and historical artifacts. IIRC, they recovered quite a bit of stuff.


39 posted on 02/10/2014 3:36:52 PM PST by colorado tanker
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To: Joe 6-pack; afraidfortherepublic; Lurker
Joe 6-pack: "I'm a somewhat vociferous reader of anything..."

;-)

</clever remark>

40 posted on 02/11/2014 5:44:15 AM PST by BroJoeK (a little historical perspective....)
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To: afraidfortherepublic

Great..thanks


41 posted on 02/18/2014 4:12:24 PM PST by fabian (" And a new day will dawn for those who stand long, and the forests will echo in laughter")
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