Saturday, January 25, 2014
The Monuments Men
Robert Edsel sets the stage with an odd assortment of characters, a bunch of middle aged museum curators and art officials who have been assembled to become the Monuments Men, destined to save European art from nototiously bad looting Nazis during the second World War. They quickly discover that no one is in charge there is no budget, no supplies, few men, and a nearly impossible task to complete. It's chaos. But amidst all their hardships they work together to carry out one of the most amazing and under appreciated jobs in the war, saving priceless artifacts, artworks, archives, and monuments, from destruction, not only from the Germans but from the Allies as well.
The story is amazing, finding Rembrandts and Vermeers hidden in mines, thousands of works of art hidden in railcars, saving historic cities from Allied bombbings and more. It's just incredible. The monuments men saw and cared for more priceless works of art than most people even see or hear of in a lifetime of museum visits. They rescued and discovered works that most curators and art afficiandos would sell their souls to see.
It's an amazing story and I can't wait to see the movie version coming out this spring. My only complaint is that the story wasn't the most fluid reading ever. It was good, but lagged in the beginning and then some parts were confusing or overexplained. Still worth a read though!