Return of Leonardo da Vinci's Lady with an Ermine to Poland
Monuments Man Harry Ettlinger and Robert Edsel visited the Castle of Neuschwanstein
Monuments Man Walker Hancock assisted residents with the relocation of the Madonna of La Gleize
Monuments Man Lt. Col. Ernest T. Dewald makes his way up to the ruins of Monte Cassino
Germans display Botticelli’s masterpiece, Camilla and the Centaur, from the Uffizi.
Monuments Man Harry Ettlinger and Robert Edsel visited the grave of a Monuments office who was killed in combat
During the excavation of Bernterode
The transporting of the Ghent Altarpiece through the passageways
Captain Walker Hancock, U.S. First Army. Age: 43. Born: St. Louis, Missouri.
During the Battle of the Bulge, the church in La Gleize was severely damaged. The statue, known as the Madonna of La Gleize, was fully exposed to one of the harshest winters on record.
Rose Valland, Temporary Custodian of the Jeu de Paume. Age: 46. Born: Saint-Etienne-de-Saint-Geoirs, France.
Captain Robert Posey, U.S. Third Army. Age: 40. Born: Morris, Alabama.
American GIs admire In the Conservatory, a masterpiece by Edouard Manet.
Reichsmarschall Hermann Göring at the Jeu de Paume Museum, Paris, December 2, 1941
Monuments Man James Rorimer and Ecole du Louvre director Robert Rey
Captain Walter “Hutch” Huchthausen, U.S. Ninth Army. Age: 40. Born: Perry, Oklahoma.
Second Lieutenant James J. Rorimer, Comm Zone and U.S. Seventh Army. Age: 39. Born: Cleveland, Ohio.
Stout constructed a pulley to lift Michelangelo’s Bruges Madonna onto the salt cart to begin its long trip home to Belgium.
American GIs hand-carried paintings down the steps of the castle under the supervision of Captain James Rorimer.
American Chaplain Samuel Blinder examines a Sefer Torah as a he begins the overwhelming task of sorting and inspecting.
Lieutenant George Stout, U.S. First Army and U.S. Twelfth Army Group. Age: 47. Born: Winterset, Iowa.
Vermeer's Astronomer found in the Altaussee mine by the Monuments Men.
The bronze coffin of Friedrich Wilhelm of Prussia
Almost sixty-five years later, Harry Ettlinger reflects with pride on a life well-lived as a Monuments Man as he stands in front of his grandfather’s print.
Private Harry Ettlinger, U.S. Seventh Army. Age: 18. Born: Karlsruhe, Germany.
The Allied Commander-In-Chief General Eisenhower communicated to commanders the importance of respecting monuments and artworks so far as war allowed.
Leonardo da Vinci, Lady with an Ermine (Portrait of Cecilia Gallerani), c. 1483-88.
Major Ronald Edmund Balfour, First Canadian Army. Age in 1944: 40. Orn: Oxfordshire, England.
ALTAUSSEE, AUSTRIA - MAY 1945: One of the many mine chambers in which the Nazis had constructed wooden shelves to house the enormous number of stolen works of art.
Private Paul Oglesby of the 30th Infantry Regiment pauses to observe this severely damaged church. This was an all too common scene throughout Italy. September 1943.
Adolf Hitler and Hermann Göring both had an interest in art, and expanded their personal collections through looting and other illegal methods of acquisition.
By order of the Führer, more than 16,000 modern works deemed “degenerate” were removed from the walls of German museums.
In fall 1939, museums across Europe evacuated their collections to remote locations in the countryside in anticipation of war.
The Monuments Men encountered repositories such as this one all across Europe. Here, piles of boxes, records, and clothing are guarded by an American GI inside a church in Ellingen, Germany
This was the scene of devastation that greeted Monuments Man Walker Hancock and other troops of U.S. First Army upon their arrival at the Aachen Cathedral
Lt. Gen. Omar N. Bradley, Lt. Gen. George S. Patton, Jr., and Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower inspect the German museum treasures stored in the Merkers mine