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The Rape of Europa

By August 23, 2014Art History, Documentaries, Featured

If you appreciate fine art as I do, you can’t help but reel at the treasures that were stolen and consequently recovered amidst the madness of WWII. ‘The Rape of Europe’ chronicles the real story behind feature film, ‘Monuments Men,’ and is one of my favorite art history documentaries.

‘The Rape of Europe’ tells the epic story of the systematic theft, deliberate destruction and miraculous survival of Europe’s art treasures during the Third Reich and World War II. In a journey through seven countries, the film takes viewers into the violent whirlwind of fanaticism, greed, and warfare that threatened to wipe out the artistic heritage of Europe. For twelve long years, the Nazis looted and destroyed art on a scale unprecedented in history. But heroic young art historians and curators from America and across Europe fought back with an extraordinary campaign to rescue and return the millions of lost, hidden and stolen treasures. Now, more than sixty years later, the legacy of this tragic history continues to play out as families of looted collectors recover major works of art, conservators repair battle damage, and nations fight over the fate of ill-gotten spoils of war. Joan Allen narrates this breathtaking chronicle about the battle over the very survival of centuries of western culture.” -PBS