Rescuing Da Vinci uses 460 photographs to tell the
"untold story of the 'Monuments Men'" and their
discovery of more than 1,000 repositories filled with millions of items including paintings, sculptures,
furniture, archives and other treasures stolen
during WWII by Adolf Hitler and the Nazis.

Read an Excerpt


Rescuing Da Vinci includes photographs of Hitler designing the F├╝hrer Museum, along with photographs of the extraordinary measures taken by museum officials in Europe to protect their masterpieces from the Nazis' planned looting. Ultimately, Hitler and the Nazis' unprecedented theft of Europe gave way to the greatest treasure hunt in history, the search for art and other treasures valued at more than a billion dollars!

The Allies created a special force known as Monuments, Fine Art and Archives Section comprised of museum directors, curators and art historians- men and women from more than 13 nations who spent more than six years locating, rescuing and then returning these treasures to the countries from which they were stolen. Efforts to locate and return missing artwork continue to this day.



Reviews

The Wall Street Journal

"Mr. Edsel has collected hundreds of photographs documenting the extent of the Nazis' looting and the Allies' efforts to protect or rescue art treasures. We see Goering's private museum of stolen masterpieces, American soldiers recovering Leonardo's "Lady With an Ermine" and Rembrandt's rolled-up "Night Watch" being transported across Holland to safety. Particularly memorable is a photograph of the massive "Winged Victory" sculpture in the Louvre being lowered down the museum steps with ropes and pulleys before to its evacuation in advance of the Nazi invasion. One shudders with gratitude -- for the fact that the piece survived the war and for a book that reminds us of what is at stake when the enemies of civilization seize power."

The Chicago Tribune

"Rescuing Da Vinci by Robert M. Edsel...is a crime story, writ so large it covers a continent. It gathers together, for the first time, nearly 500 photos documenting the Nazi theft of tens of thousands of artworks from European museums and private collections. And it details the immense, painstaking, though little-recognized, efforts of Allied armies to recover and return these precious items."