Saving Italy: The Race to Rescue a Nation's Treasures from the Nazis
Contributor: C. Peter Chen
Review Date: 4 Jan 2017
Saving Italy was a follow-up work to The Monuments Men, which had gained more popularity due to it having been made into a Hollywood film. While the earlier The Monuments Men dwelled more on the art of Western and Central Europe, Saving Italy focused on the "Monuments, Fine Arts, and Archives" team's work on Italy. While much of the background story echoed that of the prior work, with Adolf Hitler and Hermann Göring conspiring to burglarize the continent of its artwork and Dwight Eisenhower issuing the order to protect cultural artifacts, new names, whether contemporaneous like Deane Keller and older such as Leonardo Da Vinci, added new dimensions to author Robert M. Edsel's wider effort to promote the study of this otherwise overlooked niche of WW2 history. As someone who had always longed to visit Italy but not yet had the opportunity, the author's stunning descriptions of beautiful Florence and tranquil Monte Cassino only served to fan my desire to visit.
I had reviewed this title in its audio book format, which was performed by Edoardo Ballerini, who did a great job with the narration.
The story of the protection and recovery for Italian art was not as gripping as the stories told in The Monuments Men, but Saving Italy certainly stood on its own as an important work about the desvastating effects of war and human greed on important pieces of art.
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General Douglas MacArthur at Leyte, 17 Oct 1944