“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.
Today marks the 70th Anniversary of the August 15-16, 1943 raid on Milan which nearly destroyed Leonardo da Vinci’s masterpiece ‘The Last Supper’. I describe this remarkable event in great detail in my new book Saving Italy; you can read an excerpt here: https://medium.com/history-and-politics/443d30976fb2
Seventy years ago today, the bombing of Milan began in earnest. Until spring of 1942, WW2 bombing of Italian and European cities had mostly consisted of daily incursions aimed at military targets. When sir Arthur Harris was put in charge of the British Bomber Command, in February 1942, area bombing became the new normal practice. [...]
(photo from the Helmutt Ruhemann Archives at the Hamilton Kerr Institute) Morwenna Blewett, a British art restorer, has been researching the numerous Jewish restorers who fled Nazi Germany and settled in London. There is an interesting article about her search on hamhigh.co.uk, here. One such restorer was Helmutt Ruhemann, considered a leader in his field [...]
Saving Italy will be published on May 6th but we are giving away signed copies of the book this week before you can buy it. Follow Robert Edsel on Facebook and Twitter for your chance to win!
Having heard about the extraordinary discovery of most all of Nazi Germany’s gold reserves and paper currency, along with its vast cultural wealth from Berlin’s greatest museums and libraries, in a salt mine in Merkers, Germany, Generals Eisenhower, Patton and Bradley left SHAEF headquarters in Rheims, France and made a visit to see it firsthand. [...]
Monuments Man Mark Sponenburgh has passed away at the age of 95. A sculptor, historian, and educator, Mark Sponenburgh began his service with the MFAA in late 1945. He was previously enlisted in the Corps of Engineers as part of the 9th Engineers Command. Sponenburgh worked with the cartography section dictating and reproducing maps as [...]
George Clooney has lined up an incredible cast for his next film, Monuments Men. As we previously reported, the story centers on a group of art experts selected by the U.S. Government to chase down the stolen art of Europe during World War II. Aside from the terrific premise, Clooney, who co-wrote the film with partner Grant Heslov, will star [...]