|Gardens of Versailles draped in camouflage during World War II|
|Men preparing an Aristide Maillol sculpture for transport|
Towards the end of the war, the mission of the Monuments Men changed significantly from identification and protection to one of locating, recovering, and restoring to proper owners art works and other cultural objects that had been systematically looted by the Nazis -- the extent of which was staggering. The Monuments Men located treasure troves of stolen art and artifacts hidden all across Germany, Bavaria, and Austria – some in castles and others buried in “salt mines.” They saved and recovered some of the greatest works of art in the history of Western civilization, including Jan Van Eyk’s Ghent Altarpiece Adoration of the Mystic Lamb and Michelangelo’s Madonna and Child.
|Cases of jewelry confiscated from Maurice Rothschild by the Nazis|
-- Barbara Aikens is the Chief of Collections Processing at the Archives of American Art.