The Monument's Men's Finest Nazi-Looted Art Recoveries: Michelangelo, Da Vinci, Vermeer, and More (Photos)
George Clooney’s The Monuments Men, a historical epic centered on a motley crew of allied soldiers tasked with preserving and seizing Nazi-stolen art during World War II, is based on the true story of the Monuments, Fine Arts, and Archives program—a group established in 1943 by the Civil Affairs and Military Government Sections of the Allied armies. Several of these soldiers served on the front lines of the war, and eventually recovered thousands of paintings and sculptures seized by the Nazis by the likes of Michelangelo, Leonardo, Botticelli, Vermeer, and more. Hitler, a former art student, was stockpiling rare works of art—mostly in mines throughout Germany, as well as the Neuschwanstein Castle—to populate his proposed Führermuseum in Linz, Austria. Here are some of the finest stolen works of art that the Monuments Men recovered from the Nazis.