May 21, 2013

Getty Talk Explores the Race to Save Priceless Art During World War II

Author Robert Edsel discusses his new book Saving Italy: The Race to Rescue a Nation's Treasures from the Nazi

Sunday, June 2, 2013, 3 p.m.
At the J. Paul Getty Museum, Getty Center


MEDIA CONTACT:                 

Alexandria Sivak
Getty Communications
(310) 440-6473

Cover of Saving Italy: The Race to Rescue a Nation’s Treasures from the Nazis
Photo from the Deane Keller Papers, Manuscripts and Archives, Yale University

LOS ANGELES—On the eve of the Allied invasion of Italy in August 1943, Allied bombs threatened Michelangelo’s David and nearly destroyed Leonardo da Vinci’s Last Supper. What unfolded is the true story of the race to save great European masterpieces. On June 2, Robert Edsel will discuss his newest book, Saving Italy: The Race to Rescue a Nation’s Treasures from the Nazis at the Getty Center.

The book follows Monuments officers Deane Keller (a portrait painter and art professor) and Fred Hartt (an art scholar), who raced to discover the location of billions of dollars of missing artwork taken from the great museums in Florence and Naples as they served alongside frontline troops. With the whereabouts of the art unknown to the Allies, a heretofore obscure SS general holds the works hostage while negotiating a secret Nazi surrender with American spies.

“Edsel’s recovery of the history of the Monuments Men makes for a remarkable and fascinating story,” said Dr. Timothy Potts, director of the J. Paul Getty Museum. “As more recent conflicts have shown, the havoc that war can wreak upon our artistic heritage has unfortunately not diminished and there are important lessons in this book for policy makers and all who care about the preservation of the world’s artistic legacy for future generations.”

Robert M. Edsel

Robert M. Edsel is author of the nonfiction books Rescuing Da Vinci and The Monuments Men: Allied Heroes, Nazi Thieves, and the Greatest Treasure Hunt in History. Edsel is also the co-producer of the documentary film, The Rape of Europa. In addition, he is the founder and president of the Monuments Men Foundation for the Preservation of Art. A film adaptation of the Monuments Men story starring George Clooney, Cate Blanchett and Matt Damon is currently in production.

Signed copies of
 Saving Italy: The Race to Rescue a Nation’s Treasures from the Nazis, will be available for purchase at the event.

This event is presented in collaboration with the Italian Cultural Institute, Los Angeles.


Saving Italy: The Monuments Men, Nazis, and War

Date: Sunday, June 2, 2013
Time: 3:00 p.m.
Location: Harold M. Williams Auditorium, Getty Center
Admission: Free; reservations recommended. Call (310) 440-7300 or visit the event site.

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The J. Paul Getty Trust is an international cultural and philanthropic institution devoted to the visual arts that includes the J. Paul Getty Museum, the Getty Research Institute, the Getty Conservation Institute, and the Getty Foundation. The J. Paul Getty Trust and Getty programs serve a varied audience from two locations:  the Getty Center in Los Angeles and the Getty Villa in Malibu.

Visiting the Getty Center

From May 24–August 30, 2013, the Getty Center is open Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., and Friday and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. It is closed Monday and major holidays.. Admission to the Getty Center is always free. Parking is $15 per car, but reduced to $10 after 5 p.m. for evening events throughout the week. No reservation is required for parking or general admission. Reservations are required for event seating and groups of 15 or more. Please call (310) 440-7300 (English or Spanish) for reservations and information. The TTY line for callers who are deaf or hearing impaired is (310) 440-7305. The Getty Center is at 1200 Getty Center Drive, Los Angeles, California.

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