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The Monuments Men: Allied Heroes, Nazi Thieves and the Greatest Treasure Hunt in History
by Robert M. Edsel

"What if I told you that there was an epic story about World War II that has not been told, involving the most unlikely group of heroes?
These men risked their lives daily to save hundreds of thousands of the world’s greatest works of art.
THEY were the Monuments Men.
From 1943 to 1951, 350 or so men and women from 13Allied nations served as the men & women of the Monuments, Fine Arts & Archives section (MFAA) of the Allied armed forces: the eyes, ears and hands of the first and most ambitious effort in history to preserve the world's cultural heritage in times of war. During the thick of the fighting in Europe, from D-Day to V-E Day, when Germany surrendered, there were only 65 Monuments Men in the forward operating area to cover thousands of square miles, save hundreds of damaged buildings and find millions of cultural items before the Nazis could destroy them forever. This is the story of 8 of these men in the forward operating theatre.They built their own treasure maps from scraps and hints: the diary of a Louvre curator who secretly tracked Nazi plunder through the Paris rail yards; records recovered from bombed out cathedrals and museums; overheard conversations; a tip from a dentist while getting a root canal. They ended up heading for the Alps near the German-Austrian border in the last 2weeks of the war, where the great treasure caches of the Nazis were stored: the stolen artwork of Paris, masterworks from the museums of Naples and Florence; and the greatest prize of all, Hitler's personal hoard of masterpieces, looted from the most important art collections and museums in Europe and hidden deep within a working salt mine - a mine the Nazis had every intention of destroying before it fell into Allied hands. How does the Greatest Treasure Hunt in History end? As is often the case, history is often more extraordinary than fiction."

Softcover, 473 pages, cover edge wear
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  • Seller location: Christchurch City, Canterbury, NZ

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