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Five Places to View Art Saved by 'The Monuments Men'

February 6, 2014 at 4:38 PM | by | ()

The Monuments Men, starring George Clooney and Matt Damon, tells the true story of an unlikely World War II platoon tasked with rescuing priceless artworks stolen by the Nazis and returning them to their rightful owners.

Today, many of those pieces are on display around the world. Here is a look at a few of those masterpieces and where you can see them.

Michelangelo and the the Ghent Altarpiece in Belgium

In Bruges, Belgium many tourists visit Michelangelo's "Madonna and Child" sculpture in the Church of Our Lady but few realize it was discovered by the Monuments Men in a salt mine near Altaussee, Austria, after being taken by German officers in 1944.

Not far from Bruges, in the Saint Bavo Cathedral, another famous work that the Monuments Men uncovered is on display. The Ghent Altarpiece, made of panels painted by Jan van Eyck in 1432, was taken by the Germans in France in 1942 and saved two years later in Austria.

The Astronomer in Paris

In the Louvre, Jan Vermeer's painting "The Astronomer" still has a Nazi inventory code on the back of it. The piece was selected for Hitler's museum and stored at the salt mine at Altaussee before being uncovered by the Monuments Men and returned to its rightful owners who later donated it to the museum.

Pisa's Camposanto Building

In Italy, Monuments Man Deane Keller worked tireless to restore and salvage the Camposanto building in Pisa. The project meant so much to him that he is now buried nearby.

The Monuments Men and the National Gallery of Art: Behind the History in Washington, D.C.

In Washington, D.C., the National Gallery of Art is exhibiting photographs, maps, correspondence and records kept by the Monuments Men for the first time. The display includes lists of art amassed by Adolf Hitler and other Nazi leaders. The exhibit is open through Sept. 1.

[Photo: IMDb]

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