The Venus Fixers: The Remarkable Story of the Allied Soldiers Who Saved Italy's Art During World War II
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In 1943, while the world was convulsed by war, a few visionaries - in the private sector and in the military - committed to protect Europe's cultural heritage from the indiscriminate ravages of battle. And so the Allies appointed the Monuments Officers, a motley group of art historians, curators, architects, and artists, to ensure that the masterpieces of European art and architecture were not looted or bombed into oblivion. Often working as shellfire exploded around them, the Monuments Officers of Italy shored up tottering palaces and cathedrals, safeguarded Michelangelos and Giottos, and even blocked a Nazi convoy of stolen paintings bound for Göring's birthday celebration. Sometimes they failed. But to an astonishing degree they succeeded, and their story is an unparalleled adventure with the gorgeous tints of a Botticelli as its backdrop.