On February 15, 1944, after weeks of demoralizing battle, 229 waves of Allied bombers dropped 493.5 tons of high explosives and incendiaries on the historic Abbey of Monte Cassino, completely devastating the building. The decision to bomb was made based on the belief that German troops occupied the Abbey. This was the first major test [...]
Rose Valland is one of the greatest and yet unknown heroines of World War II. After risking her life spying on the Nazis, day after day for four long years, Rose lived to fulfill her destiny: locating and returning tens of thousands of works of art stolen by the Nazis during their occupation of France. [...]
Tell Congress You Support the Monuments Men! 1.) House Bill (Click here to Vote!) H.R. 3658: To grant the Congressional Gold Medal, collectively, to the Monuments Men, in recognition of their heroic role in the preservation, protection, and restitution of monuments, works of art, and artifacts of cultural importance during and following World War II. [...]
Have you seen one of these missing works? The Monuments Men found and restituted almost 5 million art and cultural objects—paintings, drawings, sculpture and religious objects—many stolen by Hitler and the Nazis. But their mission was not completed. Hundreds of thousands of works of art and important cultural documents remain missing even today. Click here [...]
In late November 1943, British Monuments adviser Lieutenant Colonel Sir Leonard Woolley inspected Naples and Palermo to investigate reports of damage to historic monuments and looting by Allied troops. He reported back to General Eisenhower’s staff in Algiers in December: “I suggest . . . a General order to the effect that no buildings registered [...]
It is the world’s most famous painting, and yet few people know that the Mona Lisa was once stolen. It was Monday, August 21, 1911, when Vincenzo Peruggia, an Italian worker immigrated to Paris, simply walked into the Louvre museum and walked out with the Mona Lisa in his hands. As Peruggia later explained, he was acting out of [...]
“On November 4, 1966, in Florence the Arno river swollen with dark, muddy waters, spilled over sweeping away everything in its way. When the waters subsided, only destruction enveloped the city.” -4 Novembre 1966. L’alluvione a Firenze Today marks the 47th anniversary of that horrible night, when the historic center of Florence, with its churches, monuments [...]
Earlier this summer I sat down with my friend Nick Mueller, President and CEO of the National WWII Museum, and discussed measures taken to preserve works of art in Italy during the war, including the precautions that ultimately saved ‘The Last Supper’ in Milan from destruction during the August 15/16, 1943 raid.