Have you ever picked up a book you could not put down? This was one of those books, it was read and reread and passed around. Now it has been made into a movie for viewers to watch. Art Theft is one of the key elements in many modern films or stories, this one is a true one.
Based on real events of the time period of the Nazi era. Not believed at first, due to the fact that many wanted to forgive the German people for the events of the second world war.
However, it has been proven since that the art thefts which occurred and were described in the book were true. The auction houses since this war have had to deal with a variety of forgeries and stolen artwork's
The film concentrates on the recovery of these works of art more than the fact that the German army had gone around to private homes and taken custody of their works of art. It was only with the close of the war and the Museums being violated as well that it was finally too much for the public.
Many Americans traveled to Europe after the war and experienced the Masterworks in museums as well as specific sites throughout. These were the same works under which the recovery efforts of the Monuments Men.
The film begins with the discussion of the art thefts and how certain works were being destroyed, much of the modern works were simply burned such as Picasso.
Others, sculptures and ancient works were being removed to their own detriment. Mines were being used to store great quantities of art, gold and other valuables for those who planned ahead of time to either flee to other parts or to benefit from the war.
Watching the film, one begins to understand how difficult it is to get government to work as it should, also how much trusts the French did not have in the Americans.
The film allows one to enter a world no otherwise known to the public, unless one had a grandparent who worked in art galleries, museums or even libraries who knew of the missing and ruined works.
This is a must see for the efforts to recover and uncover stolen works of art, which is important to all those who understand culture is part of our daily lives.
As for those who enjoyed the experience of traveling to Europe to see these works of art, it will make one want to really clap at the end of the movie.
It helps to watch George Cloony and Matt Damon as the lead actors along with a few more whom one should recognize.