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“Saving Italy: The Race to Rescue a Nation’s Treasurers from the Nazis”
February 1, 2022 @ 11:30 am - 2:00 pm
#1 NY Times best-selling author of
The Monuments Men and Saving Italy
Tuesday, February 1, 2022
501 South Sapodilla Avenue
West Palm Beach, Florida 33401
$100 per person – presentation only
$1,000 Sponsorship – presentation and lunch in Palm Beach
Edsel’s talk is called “Saving Italy: The Race to Rescue a Nation’s Treasures from the Nazis” and is based on his book Saving Italy. The book recounts the determined American drive, during WW II, before the shooting ceased, to save priceless art looted by the Germans from great museums in Florence and Naples. While American warriors were fighting the length of the country, other Americans were courageously working alongside to preserve the irreplaceable best of Italy’s culture. It is a gripping narrative sure to appeal to anyone who loves history, art, travel, and adventure.
When Hitler’s armies occupied Italy in 1943, they also seized control of mankind’s greatest cultural treasures. As they had done throughout Europe, the Nazis could now plunder the masterpieces of the Renaissance, the treasures of the Vatican, and the antiquities of the Roman Empire.
On the eve of the Allied invasion, General Dwight Eisenhower empowered a new kind of soldier to protect these historic riches. In May 1944 two unlikely American heroes—artist Deane Keller and scholar Fred Hartt—embarked from Naples on the treasure hunt of a lifetime, tracking billions of dollars of missing art, including works by Michelangelo, Donatello, Titian, Caravaggio, and Botticelli.
With the German army retreating up the Italian peninsula, orders came from the highest levels of the Nazi government to transport truckloads of art north across the border into the Reich. Standing in the way was General Karl Wolff, a top-level Nazi officer. As German forces blew up the magnificent bridges of Florence, General Wolff commandeered the great collections of the Uffizi Gallery and Pitti Palace, later risking his life to negotiate a secret Nazi surrender with American spymaster Allen Dulles.
Edsel is the author of the non-fiction books Rescuing Da Vinci and The Monuments Men: Allied Heroes, Nazi Thieves, and the Greatest Treasure Hunt in History, as well as the Saving Italy and The Greatest Treasure Hunt in History: The Story of the Monuments Men. He is also co-producer of the award-winning documentary film, The Rape of Europa. In addition, he is the founder and president of the Monuments Men Foundation for the Preservation of Art, a nonprofit entity that received the National Humanities Medal.
“I am very excited to be returning to Palm Beach to speak about the Monuments Men and Women and their role during World War II saving millions of cultural items stolen by the Nazis, in particular, the most important treasures that reside in the museums and churches of Florence said Robert Edsel. “Today, continued preservation of these works of art depends on the support of volunteer organizations like Friends of the Uffizi. I hope you will support their important work by joining us for what will be a dynamic visual presentation of these historic events, past and present.”