POSTED November 6 2013

“Monuments Men” even more newsworthy

The real Monuments Men, pictured in "Rape of Europa"

The real Monuments Men, pictured in “Rape of Europa”

First, there was Lynn Nicholas’ splendid book, The Rape of Europa, an account of the theft, recovery and repatriation of great works of Western Art stolen by Nazis during World War II.

Then, there was the exceptional documentary based on Nicholas’ research (likewise called The Rape of Europa) that glorified the so-called “Monuments Men,” a little-known cadre of U.S. soldiers, many of them artists and art historians, charged with protecting works of art and architecture from Axis annexation and Allied bombs. The Monuments Men literally mined for lost artworks, finding missing treasures in a salt mine at Alt Aussee in Austria and Florentine masterpieces in an Alpine prison. The return of their art – their patrimony and pride – occasioned a jubilant victory parade in Florence in 1945.

Just months before the February 7 opening of George Clooney’s feature film The Monuments Men (starring Clooney, Matt Damon, Bill Murray and Jean Dujardin), The New York Times reports the discovery of a cache of artworks in Munich — Gustave Courbet, Henri Matisse and Otto Dix among them  — that eluded the intrepid Monuments Men. What timing!

Can you think of other features that benefitted from the coincidence of news events? Frdt one I thought of was The Three Mile Island meltdown practically coinciding with the release of The China Syndrome. Any others?




  1. movieirv says:

    I guess The China Syndrome is a prime example.

  2. Carrie Rickey says:

    If memory serves, the release of “Casablanca” coincided with the Allied summit there.

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