The folks at the National Gallery of Arts wrote to tell us of the new George Clooney movie due out soon, called “Monuments Men” based on Robert M. Edsel’s book The Monuments Men: Allied Heroes, Nazi Thieves and the Greatest Treasure Hunt in History about folks, many of whom were employees of the National Gallery of Arts, as they tracked down the historic pieces which were looted from Europe’s collections.
The MFAA’s officers bravely followed frontline troops into war zones. Among them were Lt. Charles P. Parkhurst, Jr., the Gallery’s former registrar and eventual assistant director, and Women’s Army Corps (WAC) Capt. Edith Standen, secretary to the Widener Collection, the great gift of donor Joseph P. Widener that had only recently been installed in the museum’s galleries.
“The finding [of looted art] was either easy or accidental, ” Parkhurst told a Gallery oral historian 45 years after his service in the MFAA. “Usually we had clues from shippers, from local residents who said, ‘well, there’s something funny about that castle.’ ”
Chasing one such rumor, Parkhurst happened upon a full-sized cast of Rodin’s Burghers of Calais (1884–95), which German soldiers en route to Baden had been forced to abandon on a mountainside. Parkhurst continued up the mountain to the castle at its peak and found room upon room of plundered art. “The owner of the castle gave me a cup of tea and a list of the objects. [He] said ‘I’ve been wondering how long it would take you guys to get here!’”
There’s more at the link that you should read about a little known historical event. I can’t stand Clooney, so I guess I’ll wait to rent the movie, but you do what you do..