For 70 years it as though nobody spoke about the Monuments Men. As if World War II, the deadliest war in history, didn't actually take place in Europe among architectural ancient wonders and artistic masterpieces. How did a city like Rome survive when over 13 million people didn't?
A branch in the Allied Army that came to be known as the Monuments Men were tasked with recovering, protecting, and restoring art that was along the battlefields all over Europe and in downtown Rome. They are receiving much deserved attention lately due to Robert Edel's two books entitled The Monuments Men and Saving Italy, not to mention a newly released film on the topic with a glamorous cast including George Clooney and Matt Damon. And a current exhibition at Buffalo's Albright-Knox Art Gallery features works of art saved during this operation displayed in the museum and the efforts of the museum's own curatorial and directorial staff that were part of this historic campaign and in addition to being Ivy-League art professors were actual Monuments Men.
For more information about the efforts of the Monuments Men in Rome and how the eternal city yet endured, check out my recent article in Wanted in Rome magazine - link