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Met Museum display and itinerary honors Monuments Men

NEW YORK – To pay tribute to the heroic work of the Monuments Men during World War II, the Metropolitan Museum of Art released a new gallery itinerary and display on Feb. 7. The date coincided with the release of the feature film “The Monuments Men.”

The group known as the Monuments Men worked to protect artwork and archives as the Allies advanced across Europe in 1943. “In the Footsteps of Monuments Men: Traces from the Metropolitan Museum’s Archives” relates this incredible history through a display at the Museum’s Thomas J. Watson Library through March 13.

The display focuses on James R. Rorimer’s wartime contributions, since he became the Met’s director after the war. The exhibits include Rorimer’s wartime photos, pocket notebook and index cards he compiled on the damaged European monuments. A copy of a May 1944 order by General Dwight D. Eisenhower authorizing the Monuments Men is also featured.

Visitors can see some of the art the Nazis stole for themselves with the museum’s new itinerary called “The Monuments Men at the Met: Treasures Saved During World War II.” The itinerary highlights 11 selected paintings that were saved and given to their rightful owners by the Monuments Men.

Now preserved in the Met’s collection, the images hang in the museum’s European Paintings Galleries and Nineteenth-Century European Paintings and Sculpture Galleries. The itinerary also includes excerpts of writings by Rorimer and Monuments Men historians.

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