Advertisement

Movie Mom

Movie Mom

The Real Story: The Monuments Men

posted by Nell Minow

real monuments men[Note: there are some spoilers in this post, so see the movie before reading it.] George Clooney wrote, directed, and stars in “The Monuments Men,” the story of six men who helped save five million masterpieces of art and architecture and other cultural treasures from the Nazis. In reality, there were about 345 men and women from 13 countries who worked for the MFAA (Monuments, Fine Arts, and Archives section) of the Allied forces during World War II. They were not soldiers, as shown in the film. Many were museum directors, curators, art historians, artists, architects, and educators.

Advertisement

In 1943, a Committee on the Protection of Cultural Treasures in War Areas of The American Council of Learned Societies was established, funded in part by the Rockefeller Foundation and headquartered at the Frick Art Reference Library.  They put together a catalogue of art in occupied countries that was used for tracking the stolen works.

The characters in the movie are fictionalized, but this article tells the real stories of the men and women who inspired them.   One of the most important is the woman who inspired the French character played by Cate Blanchett.  Her real name was Rose Valland, and she did keep a meticulous notebook with information about every piece of art shipped out through the museum where she worked in occupied Paris. There is a book about her called Rose Valland: Resistance at the Museum.  An excerpt from the book available online explains that, unlike Blanchett, she would not have been interested in a liaison with the character played by Matt Damon as she was gay.   She also inspired the movie The Train, with Burt Lancaster and Jeanne Moreau, where Resistance operatives have to stop a train carrying art from France to Germany without harming any of the masterpieces on board.

Advertisement

The history of the Monuments Men is still being assembled.  Anyone with any documents or photographs should get in touch with ehudson@monumentsmen.com.  And anyone who wants to support efforts to recognize the heroism of the Monuments Men can join this group in requesting that they be awarded Congressional Medals of Honor.

The filmmakers have assembled an outstanding collection of teaching materials based on the film, and ministry resources for pastors who want to use the movie’s themes to inspire their congregations as well.  for more information, try the documentary called The Rape of Europa, or the book it is based on, The Rape of Europa: The Fate of Europe’s Treasures in the Third Reich and the Second World War by Lynn H. Nicholas.

Previous Posts

Trailer: Jenny's Wedding with Katherine Heigl and Alexis Bledel
[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MsRh-PTeXzw[/youtube] ...

posted 10:00:44am Jul. 05, 2015 | read full post »

Trailer: Glitch
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z736c3pXb7w There's no US release date set at the moment for this film, also known as "Leading Lady," but I hope we get to see it. The actress is Katie McGrath, currently in "Jurassic World" and soon to appear ...

posted 8:00:39am Jul. 05, 2015 | read full post »

Tonight on PBS: A Capitol Fourth with Barry Manilow, Hunter Hayes, and KC and the Sunshine Band
[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5IQqWgdF1z0[/youtube] Tune in tonight to watch A Capitol Fourth on PBS, featuring Barry Manilow, Hunter Hayes, KC and the Sunshine Band, Alabama, and Lang Lang, and hosted by Bradley Whitford. And ...

posted 12:00:57pm Jul. 04, 2015 | read full post »

Marvin Gaye Sings the Star Spangled Banner
Happy 4th of July! [vimeo]https://vimeo.com/34606761[/vimeo] ...

posted 8:38:56am Jul. 04, 2015 | read full post »

The Declaration of Independence -- Happy 4th of July!
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ETroXvRFoKY ...

posted 7:00:25am Jul. 04, 2015 | read full post »

Advertisement


Report as Inappropriate

You are reporting this content because it violates the Terms of Service.

All reported content is logged for investigation.