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The Inside Story: Monuments Men and the National Gallery of Art

Maygene Daniels, chief of Gallery Archives, and Gregory Most, chief of library image collections, National Gallery of Art; and Lynn H. Nicholas, author of The Rape of Europa: The Fate of Europe’s Treasures in the Third Reich and the Second World War. The Monuments, Fine Arts, and Archives (MFAA) program was established in 1943 under the Civil Affairs and Military Government Sections of the Allied armies. The creation of the MFAA was largely the result of the Roberts Commission, which was headquartered at the National Gallery of Art and vice-chaired by the Gallery's director, David Finley. The officers who served in the MFAA (also known as the Monuments Men) were charged with the identification, protection, and restitution of Europe's cultural treasures during and after World War II. Prior to the war, six of these officers were associated with the National Gallery of Art, and in later years three held important positions at the museum. This lecture recorded on March 16, 2014, at the National Gallery of Art delves into the behind-the-scenes stories of these real-life Monuments Men, and women. Image: Lieutenant Frederick Hartt in Livorno, Italy, January 1945., Frederick Hartt Papers.