Film details how Allies foiled Nazi pillage of Europe's art

Roundup: Pop Culture & the Arts ... Movies, Documentaries and Museum Exhibits

Adolf Hitler's obsession with creating a Nazi super museum to house plundered art is at the heart of The Rape of Europa.

Equally fascinating about the documentary is America's wartime attempt to minimize damage to European public art during bombing raids and to return stolen pieces to their original owners.

Dubbed Monuments Men, these were artists and curators drafted into military service. Many marched along with troops into France, Italy and Germany in the hope of securing important artifacts before they were looted or destroyed.

It's long for a documentary, almost two hours, but it has a big story to tell.

While the Nazi rhetoric was quite high-flown about its appreciation of artistic treasures, its actions were less so. Some of the high party members had an interest in art for aesthetic reasons, others for the prestige that fine art might bring them. They may have little known the value of great art, but they certainly knew its price....

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