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‘Monuments Men’ author to speak on art, life


During World War II, Hitler and the Nazis attempted to steal millions of monuments and priceless works art, regarded as the world’s greatest. A team of American heroes was able to prevent this loss, and finally their story will be shared.

Robert Edsel, author of “The Monuments Men,”the book that inspired the recent George Clooney-fronted film of the same name, will speak to USF students and the Tampa community at 6:30 p.m. today at the Tampa Theatre. Edsel will share his experiences in his ten years of tracing through the saving of great monuments and art during WWII and the making of the movie based on his book.

Edsel will discuss the American effort in preserving millions precious artworks from Nazi theft, wartime destruction and the group of soldiers who saved them. He will also present more than 100 slides to supplement his talk, share anecdotes and take questions from the audience to round out a recurring theme from his research: Is art worth a life?

Frontier Forum, a lecture series hosted by the USF College of Arts and Sciences (CAS), sponsors the lecture.Michele Dye, CAS communications and marketing director, said the story based on true events is a necessary one, but not one that is well known.

“Edsel covers a very pivotal time in history, and the sacrifices that were made to preserve great works of art,” Dye said.

Christina Goldstein, CAS event coordinator, said those with an appreciation for the arts, even those not familiar with Edsel’s work or the recently released film, will find interest in the lecture.

“Anyone with a passion for art, history or architecture will be interested in Edsel’s story, because all three tie into the lives of the Monuments Men,” Goldsteinsaid.

Following the event, Edsel will sign copies of his book, which will be for sale in the theater’s lobby.

This lecture, sponsored by the USF Phi Beta Kappa Alumni Faculty, the Office of the Provost and mayor Bob Buckhorn, is free and open to the public. Street-side parking is available free of charge after 6 p.m.