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George Clooney to Direct, Star In 'Monuments Men' About Stolen Nazi Art (Exclusive)

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Re: George Clooney to Direct, Star In 'Monuments Men' About Stolen Nazi Art (Exclusive)

Post by Boshkash on Wed Nov 27 2013, 10:47

Finally found the article I mentioned before, this is a review of the test screening:

"I caught a screening of The Monuments Men the other day, Sony’s third major film to vie for Oscars this year.  First and foremost, kudos go to George Clooney and company (he cowrote the screenplay with partner Grant Heslov, as well as directed) for making a highly-produced film about a buried treasure—so to speak—of a tale from World War II.  A team of men and women risked their lives to preserve the cultural legacy of Western Civilization.  It was a noble and admirable quest that should elicit nothing but appreciation and gratitude from us as the inheritors.  And the movie makes it very clear what the mission is without getting too bogged down in details.  A lot of the time, I found myself wanting to be compelled by the specifics, but, unfortunately, all we got were general details, as well as an exhausting rush towards the closing credits.  But, I was also left with the thought that it may have been the best option available.
The filmmakers play fast and loose with the facts, which is why a good portion of the supporting cast, save the three principles (played by Clooney, Matt Damon, and Cate Blanchett), were fictionalized.  And for those who aren’t passionate about art preservation, it’s for good reason, as the dry source material from Robert M. Edsel needed a lot of sprucing up and shaping.  The lengthy original script has been pared down a great deal to deliver a movie just under two hours.  Necessarily, a good deal of fat trimmed creates less content for Clooney to plow through.  It’s all about the endgame: getting the art.  But, there is no real puzzle to solve to engage the audience, only a wait to see when it’s all going to be figured out and finished.  The obstacles for the rescue include the Nazi decree to hide and destroy as much as possible with emphasis on the pilfered private collections, as well as the pressure of the allied Russian advance with its own self-serving agenda.  But the race with the clock never reaches levels of the truly thrilling, as one might hope.
There is a great amount of reverence for the cause, as well as the War in general.  The Monuments Men no doubt find themselves in the thick of the tail-end of the conflict, losing men themselves, as well as also involving themselves sometimes with the main effort.  This context incorporates them as vital to the grander scheme of things without losing sight of what the war was all about.  The treatment feels artificial and mechanical, yet, the filmmakers appeared to be making the best choices for the task at hand, given what story they were trying to tell for a general audience that had any hope of generating money at the box-office to justify its existence.  The truth is I don’t know how else a Hollywood treatment of this subject matter could have ended up, considering the scope of the venture and budgetary needs.  Clooney’s job was to direct an efficient film that was entertaining and convincingly dramatic.  And, he accomplished that.  As well, he also made kind of a generic film.  The sentimental moments were superficially handled, and the briskness of the tone wasn’t my bag, but judging by the responses from audience members around me at the screening, people were both slightly moved and filled with laughter.  The response was both shocking and encouraging.  Even though I couldn’t wait for the film to be over (and granted, I got a sense that the movie itself felt the same way), I was somehow consoled that others were enjoying the experience and touched at times (truth be told, I skimmed Edsel’s first installation to this series, as well as read the script, which may have informed my impatience).
One element I just couldn’t get passed above all was the score.  We were warned, as before any test screening, that the music may be a temporary placeholder in parts or as a whole, which it very well may have been.  I’m not well-schooled in the notes of Alexandre Desplat, so I can’t identify his trademarks.  However, every piece appeared to fit each scene as it tried to overcompensate for whatever the film lacked in substance in each respective moment.  And, if what I heard was indeed Desplat’s work, the thick composition will be pretty distracting for those whom Clooney can’t win over with the story.  On the other hand, I have to say that I got a kick out of watching how many times each character lit up a cigarette.  We just don’t have the art aficionados and their desire to protect the finer pieces of our social heritage to thank, but nicotine!  In fact, there’s probably a good ten minutes of it total if edited all together.  The performances are fine across the board.  The supporting cast included Damon, Bill Murray, John Goodman, recent Oscar winner Jean Dujardin, and Hugh Bonneville.  The thinly written characters give the actors very little to do, as this is mostly a plot-driven exercise of getting to the finish line.  It’s worth mentioning that the seldom-showcased Bob Balaban is adorable here, and it was a pleasure that he got to clock some screen-time into a major motion picture.  Blanchett’s French accent struck me as somewhat passable, though her performance did stick out, if not for her femininity, than for her hardened, mistrusting art historian, who was quite funny at times.  Clooney gives himself the best scene towards the end when he sits down with a Nazi and explains the meaninglessness of an individual who fought on the wrong side.
As far as Oscar predictions, I’m having trouble imagining this film having much of a shot at most categories.  The critical response here is likely to be middling-to-decent, at best, but nothing near a slam-dunk for Best Picture consideration.  Figuring in box-office prospects, its chances are thin.  The aforementioned Desplat has a shot, I guess.  He has been nominated five times in the last six years without a win.  However, four of those nominations were for Best Picture nominees (and not only BP nominees, but Top Five BP nominees).  He also faces internal competition for Philomena, which has been noted and approved in many critical reviews coming out of the recent major film festivals.
I can’t imagine Monuments has much of a shot at adapted screenplay, even in a weak field, and especially with Captain Phillips in the race (I haven’t seen it yet).  It’s also hard to envision any of the actors vying for any awards.  It’s really all going to be about the technical categories here, as many might already imagine.  What stood out most prevalently was James D. Bissell’s (Good Night, and Good Luck) production design, if not because it’s a World War II film coming out in a year full of more contemporary and less traditional fare, but also because he managed a few effective artistic flourishes, including a moment when we’re first introduced to Damon’s character and we get a distanced closing shot of him restoring the insides of a massive arch.  A weak year makes costume designer Louise Frogley worth mentioning, though there wasn’t anything remarkable about the military outfits.  Cinematography Phedon Papamichael will probably have a marginally better chance with the black and white Nebraska.  Oddly, I will say the sound design stood out (in a good way), out of all things nominatable.  And, the fact that Monuments is part action gives it an advantage, though without a BP nomination, its chances are curbed ever so greatly.
One thing is more certain, however.  With Monuments and August: Osage County seemingly falling short this season, what may have been shaping up to be a big year for Hollywood icon and hyphenate Clooney may end up being condensed to recognition for his supporting turn in Gravity.  The AMPAS love to nominate him every two years, and he’s due for another turn.  Will they really allow the mega star to go for a fourth?  Seems like odds are likely if they decide he needs to be recognized for something.  And that movie is backed by a studio that does very well in the category."    
— 1 month ago

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Re: George Clooney to Direct, Star In 'Monuments Men' About Stolen Nazi Art (Exclusive)

Post by Mazy on Wed Nov 27 2013, 18:25

Thank you so much Boshkash for this great article very interesting.

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Re: George Clooney to Direct, Star In 'Monuments Men' About Stolen Nazi Art (Exclusive)

Post by it's me on Wed Nov 27 2013, 18:52

hope for a better one soon....

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Re: George Clooney to Direct, Star In 'Monuments Men' About Stolen Nazi Art (Exclusive)

Post by Carla97 on Wed Nov 27 2013, 19:13

Well one opinion I guess. The person compared this film to captain phillips, which he haven´t seen yet. Not very reliable...

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Re: George Clooney to Direct, Star In 'Monuments Men' About Stolen Nazi Art (Exclusive)

Post by Boshkash on Thu Nov 28 2013, 02:04

Most importantly, the writer said that the reactions around him/her were very positive, they were moved and entertained, which is great for a yet uncompleted movie..

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Re: George Clooney to Direct, Star In 'Monuments Men' About Stolen Nazi Art (Exclusive)

Post by Nicky80 on Mon Dec 23 2013, 17:43

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George Clooney's 'The Monuments Men' Unveils New Campaign To Find Lost Art


George Clooney produced, co-wrote, directed, and stars in Sony's "The Monuments Men," but there's one part of the film's journey to theaters that he can't do alone: find all the missing artwork stolen or taken during World War II. That's where the audience comes in: As part of the release of "The Monuments Men," Sony is partnering with author Robert Edsel for the SupportTheMonumentsMen.com campaign.

"This is hugely important to our efforts to complete the mission of the Monuments Men. Between 1945 and 1951 the Monuments Men and Women found and returned almost five million works of art and cultural items, so many of which had been stolen by the Nazis," Edsel, the author of the book on which "The Monuments Men" is based, wrote in an email to HuffPost Entertainment. "But hundreds of thousands of objects remain missing to this day including works of art and objects taken by soldiers as souvenirs. Our campaign, which George, Grant Heslov [co-writer] and Sony have so enthusiastically supported, marks the first time in history that anyone has sought the public's help in locating these items."

Clooney first announced plans to turn Edsel's book, "The Monuments Men: Allied Heroes, Nazi Thieves and the Greatest Treasure Hunt in History," into a film in early 2012. "I'm not opposed to doing a commercial film, I'm just opposed to doing a commercial film that doesn’t feel organic to me," Clooney said to TheWrap on Jan. 8, 2012. "So if we're going to do a commercial film we thought, 'Let's do something that seems fun and actually have something to say.'" In addition to Clooney, "The Monuments Men" stars Matt Damon, Cate Blanchett, John Goodman, Bill Murray, Jean Dujardin and Bob Balaban.

"Working with George and Grant was a wonderfully collaborative process," Edsel wrote in an email to HuffPost Entertainment. "They were eager to hear to my comments and recommendations throughout the creative process and during filming. We didn't always agree, but they always heard me out. They welcomed me on set numerous times and afforded me the chance to bring my team of researchers, who have worked tirelessly gathering the history of these men and women. For that I remain extremely grateful. Both George and Grant have worked passionately and diligently to understand this untold part of history, and then find a way to tell this epic story in their own voice on screen. Making this film was an enormous undertaking and, now that it is finished, a great achievement."

In addition to audiences enjoying the film, Edsel wrote that he hopes "The Monuments Men" allows viewers to understand the lengths these men and women went to preserve history and protect "civilization's most important and beautiful treasures from the destruction of war and theft by the Nazis."

"I imagine audiences everywhere will wonder, as I did some 17 years ago, how these heroes and their epic story were largely lost in the fog of history. Their assignment presented the Monuments Men with a dilemma: 'Is art worth a life?' Seventy years later, audiences will have their own opportunity to consider this provocative question," Edsel wrote. "The looting of the National Museum of Iraq following the U.S.-led invasion in 2003 proved a painful example of what can happen when such a great legacy is forgotten. I hope that moviegoers will be vocal in expressing their belief that Monuments officers should always be an important part of our modern day military forces and that our nation shows the respect for the cultural property of others that the Monuments Men and women did during World War II."

As Sony noted in its press release, SupportTheMonumentsMen.com will also allow interested parties to sign a "virtual petition supporting the Monuments Men’s efforts to preserve and protect great cultural works of art by encouraging members of Congress to honor the Monuments Men with the Congressional Gold Medal."

"The Monuments Men have earned the right to be awarded the Congressional Gold Medal, but for that to happen we need the public to encourage their members of Congress to quickly indicate their support for these recently introduced bills," Edsel wrote. "There will always be conflicts; I hope that our president will state, as did President Roosevelt and General Eisenhower, that the United States will always respect the cultural property of other nations, even in times of conflict. That was good foreign policy then; it will serve us well today and in the future."

More information on the initiative can be found in the press release provided by Sony below. "The Monuments Men" is out in theaters on Feb. 7, 2014.
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

SUPPORT THE MONUMENTS MEN IN THE SEARCH FOR LOST ART

CULVER CITY, Calif., Dec. 20, 2013 – In anticipation of the nationwide release of The Monuments Men, the new film from director George Clooney based on the true story of the race to save 1000 years of culture, moviegoers can visit SupportTheMonumentsMen.com, where they will find resources and information about the ways we all can continue the search for landmark works that were stolen or taken as souvenirs during World War II and are still missing today. The film, which is written by George Clooney & Grant Heslov, will be released on February 7, 2014.

Robert M. Edsel, who founded and heads the Monuments Men Foundation, added, “The Monuments Men and women saved almost five million cultural objects, but so much is still missing. They could be anywhere, in your grandfather's attic, or hiding in plain sight. I'm thrilled that with the release of the movie, there will be a way for the public to help complete these heroes' mission. Call 1-866-WWII-ART and find out how you can help.”

At SupportTheMonumentsMen.com, moviegoers can sign a virtual petition supporting the Monuments Men’s efforts to preserve and protect great cultural works of art by encouraging members of Congress to honor the Monuments Men with the Congressional Gold Medal.

In addition, visitors will find a phone number – 1-866-WWII-ART – which will connect callers directly to the Monuments Men Foundation, where they can speak with a Monuments Men Foundation representative regarding the search for lost art.

Also as a part of the Support the Monuments Men site, visitors will find an interactive map. On the map, moviegoers can find out local museums that will be featuring their institutions’ connection to the Monuments Men – such as personnel who participated in the campaign or rescued works of art that hang on the museums’ walls.

On the “Journey of the Monuments Men” feature, visitors can read about the history – from information about the real Monuments Men to the efforts they and others took to save landmark works during the war.

Finally, the studio has developed an educational program to engage high school and college students, families and art buffs about the story of the Monuments Men. The educational site, at [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.] features downloadable lesson plans that meet common core state standards, an interactive map, and videos to spark discussion and aid educators in building a curriculum. Students are also invited to get involved by uploading photos of local works of art that best represent their communities. The photos can be uploaded by visiting the Tumblr page at [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]

Based on the true story of the greatest treasure hunt in history, The Monuments Men is an action drama focusing on seven over-the-hill, out-of-shape museum directors, artists, architects, curators, and art historians who went to the front lines of WWII to rescue the world’s artistic masterpieces from Nazi thieves and return them to their rightful owners. With the art hidden behind enemy lines, how could these guys hope to succeed? But as the Monuments Men found themselves in a race against time to avoid the destruction of 1000 years of culture, they would risk their lives to protect and defend mankind’s greatest achievements. From director George Clooney, the film stars George Clooney, Matt Damon, Bill Murray, John Goodman, Jean Dujardin, Bob Balaban, Hugh Bonneville, and Cate Blanchett. The screenplay is by George Clooney & Grant Heslov, based on the book by Robert M. Edsel with Bret Witter. Produced by Grant Heslov and George Clooney.

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Re: George Clooney to Direct, Star In 'Monuments Men' About Stolen Nazi Art (Exclusive)

Post by Nicky80 on Mon Dec 23 2013, 18:00

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Has Hollywood rewritten history again? Writer claims Austrian salt miners - NOT George Clooney's 'Monuments Men' - saved priceless works of art from Nazis

A new book published this week in Austria details how the finest art treasures in the world looted by the Nazis - worth an estimated £5billion at today's prices - were saved from destruction by a team of salt miners.

Although credit for their salvation has gone to the 'Monuments Men' of the Allies who took charge of the masterpieces following the collapse of the Third Reich, the real heroes were apparently a group of Austrian workers who refused to obey orders for their destruction.

George Clooney's movie 'The Monuments Men' which opens on new year's day only gives a sanitised Hollywood version of what took place in the dying days of the Second World War, one in which the Americans claim the glory for rescuing history's glittering prizes.

The new book 'Mission Michelangelo' tells the real story.

Written by Viennese journalist Konrad Kramar, it reveals how the miners were aided in their efforts to save the artworks by one of the most feared men in the whole of Nazi Germany.

He was Ernst Kaltenbrunner, an Austrian by birth who would be hanged by the Allies at Nuremberg for war crimes.

As head of the SD, the security service of the SS, he was second only to Heinrich Himmler in overseeing the Nazi network of terror, repression and murder in all conquered territories.

Kaltenbrunner returned to his homeland 11 days before Hitler killed himself in his Berlin bunker on April 30 1945.

Before his death the Fuehrer issued his infamous 'Nero Decree' - the order to destroy all infrastructure, power plants, roads, bridges, railways and mines to prevent them from falling into the hands of his enemies.

Included in this decree were the the 40,000 square metres of galleries in the Altaussee mine where the most wonderful paintings of history were stored.

Once planned to be displayed in the Fuehrer's planned 'Supermuseum' in Linz, he ordered them to be destroyed in an act of colossal spite.

Michelangelo's statue 'The Bruges Madonna,' Jan Vermeer's 'Painter in his Studio' and 'The Astronomer,' Jan van Eyck’s Ghent Altarpiece and works by such masters as Rembrandt and Rubens - 6,557 in all - were stored in the mine that was to be obliterated by huge TNT bombs.

Alois Raudaschl, the miner's foreman, was no resistance figure but a paid-up member of the Nazi party.

He was horrified when he learned that the local Nazi gauleiter, a violent drunkard called August Eigruber - he would also be hanged for war crimes in 1947 - intended to carry out Hitler's Nero Order and destroy the art treasures.

On May 3 1945, just days after Hitler's suicide, Raudaschl met secretly with Kaltenbrunner because he had heard he was sympathetic to saving the artworks.

'He believed Kaltenbrunner could stop the madness of the order to detonate the mine and everything in it,' wrote Kramar.

Eigruber had already placed two 500kg bombs inside the mine codenamed 'Dora' by the Nazi high command and was waiting for explosives experts to arrive to arm them before he set them off.

Kramar went on; 'It wasn't resistance fighters, an Austrian agent of the British secret service who claimed the credit, nor the Monuments Men or the management of the mine who saved the paintings, but the miners themselves.'

Kaltenbrunner, like Albert Speer Hitler's court architect, realised the futility of the Nero Decree and gave his blessing to the miners to thwart it.

'Raudaschl and about a dozen miners went back to the mine the next day and removed the bombs and hid them in surrounding woodland,' said Kramar.

The miners blockaded parts of the mine leading to the rarest paintings and statues, all aware that they were committing high treason against the Nazi state even though Hitler was dead. Had the Nero Decree been enforced at the 11th hour, all would have been guillotined for their actions.

Eigruber got wind of Kaltenbrunner's patronage of the miners and sent two men to arrest him. 'But they were frightened off by the SS sentries guarding his door,' said Kramar. Later that night Eigruber called around to demand the return of the bombs to the mine.

The SD chief roared at him: 'As of this moment I am still head of the Security Service of the SS and those mines remain outside.'

By dawn the next day the miners had posted guards on the entrance to the mine and allowed no-one into them.

Thirteen days later the Monuments Men rolled into Altaussee and took the treasures to Munich.

George Stout, the American lieutenant in charge of the Monuments Men, tried to discover who had saved the treasures.

He was sickened by the claims of resistors who he called 'vain, creeping toads' because he knew they had done nothing to thwart the destruction plans.

'The real heroes were the miners,' said Kramar.





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Re: George Clooney to Direct, Star In 'Monuments Men' About Stolen Nazi Art (Exclusive)

Post by Nicky80 on Fri Jan 10 2014, 19:58

This was now on twitter posted few hours ago not sure if some posted it already. Couldn't find it here.

I'm not sure if this is real. George has no mustache. Maybe it was at the end of shooting?

In anticipation of the release of @MonumentsMovie here's a picture of me and #GeorgeClooney on set @MonumentsMen pic.twitter.com/M97j3L5LN7


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Re: George Clooney to Direct, Star In 'Monuments Men' About Stolen Nazi Art (Exclusive)

Post by Nicky80 on Fri Jan 10 2014, 20:01

So this guy is english. Maybe that pic was made in the UK when they were filming. But then again he had a mustache then too.  scratch 

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Re: George Clooney to Direct, Star In 'Monuments Men' About Stolen Nazi Art (Exclusive)

Post by Nicky80 on Fri Jan 10 2014, 20:09

Ok he has a Casamigos baseball cap and he is sweaty. It must be George  Razz I though he lost his mustache after the shooting. Oh well   Rolling Eyes

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Re: George Clooney to Direct, Star In 'Monuments Men' About Stolen Nazi Art (Exclusive)

Post by Nicky80 on Fri Mar 07 2014, 20:59

By the way, not sure if you heard this before....Wanted to share that.

I met a guy this week who was an extra in MM. And he told me he had a scene with George. He and another extra had to walk towards George while George was walking towards them and before they meet at one point they had to do a right turn in order for George to continue walking. The other extra was so nervous that George came closer and closer that he forgot to do the right turn and bump into George shoulder. They had to cut the scene again but George found it really funny and laughed about it.

And another day all the extras did a great job and George was so happy that he told them for that day they get double paid  Very Happy  What a nice boss. And they all really got double paid  Thumbs up!

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Re: George Clooney to Direct, Star In 'Monuments Men' About Stolen Nazi Art (Exclusive)

Post by it's me on Fri Mar 07 2014, 22:09

an happy encounter !!!! Very Happy

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Re: George Clooney to Direct, Star In 'Monuments Men' About Stolen Nazi Art (Exclusive)

Post by Mazy on Sat Mar 08 2014, 01:58

Nicky80 wrote:By the way, not sure if you heard this before....Wanted to share that.

I met a guy this week who was an extra in MM. And he told me he had a scene with George. He and another extra had to walk towards George while George was walking towards them and before they meet at one point they had to do a right turn in order for George to continue walking. The other extra was so nervous that George came closer and closer that he forgot to do the right turn and bump into George shoulder. They had to cut the scene again but George found it really funny and laughed about it.

And another day all the extras did a great job and George was so happy that he told them for that day they get double paid  Very Happy  What a nice boss. And they all really got double paid  Thumbs up!

He really is one in a billion, just a great guy. xxx

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Re: George Clooney to Direct, Star In 'Monuments Men' About Stolen Nazi Art (Exclusive)

Post by Nicky80 on Sat Mar 08 2014, 22:09

found this pic on les frenchies. Not sure if we have it already so I share it here 

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Re: George Clooney to Direct, Star In 'Monuments Men' About Stolen Nazi Art (Exclusive)

Post by it's me on Sat Mar 08 2014, 22:30

really nice one Very Happy

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First look at the Gurlit Collection

Post by party animal - not! on Wed Mar 26 2014, 20:15

On the BBC News today, an exclusive, I think

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Cornelius Gurlitt: One lonely man and his hoard of stolen Nazi art
By Stephen EvansBBC News

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A beach scene by German impressionist Max Liebermann


Cornelius Gurlitt hoarded more than 1,500 works of art, some stolen from Jews in Nazi Germany, for more than half a century. The BBC's Steve Evans was given exclusive access to the high-security storage depot where the 238 treasures he stored at one of his homes, in Austria, are now being held.


One day, no doubt, Hollywood will make a movie.
A reclusive man with his secret hoard of art. In the damp of his home, behind the shutters, spiders would crawl over masterpieces - until his secret was blown and his hidden trove uncovered.
Perhaps the script is already being written. It will be a crime movie, of course - some of these works were snatched from people who were being bundled away to be murdered.
It will be a mystery film, too - how did a sad and lonely man hide such a big collection of pictures for so long. Cornelius Gurlitt would sell a painting when he needed the money (just the odd few millions) - but didn't the wise and intelligent of the art world ask any questions? Or did they not want to ask for fear of the answer?
It will be a movie with some suspense. Cornelius Gurlitt was caught after he was stopped on a train travelling between his home in Germany and his bank in Switzerland. A customs official who boarded the carriage, searched him and discovered about 9,000 euros (£7,500), just below the legal limit for the transfer of cash out of the country but enough to raise suspicions and to prompt an investigation of the flat in Munich.
But how will Hollywood depict Cornelius Gurlitt himself? Is he a villain, or a tragic figure, compelled to shuttle secretly, with wads of cash, returning home to spend his life with inanimate works of art?


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Perhaps, he's both.
The treasures were often pushed into corners among a mess of waste paper. Mould grew on some of the surfaces. The radiance of the paint has been dulled by a filter of dirt.
It's not that Cornelius Gurlitt didn't care about the paintings. Indeed, those who have talked to him say he thought of them as his friends. He would sit in the dark with them, his only companions on the planet once his parents and sister had died. Whether he talked to them, we do not know, but he seems to have communed with them in what must have been solitary, sad meetings behind the shutters of his flat in Munich and house in Salzburg.


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The house in Salzburg (left) and the Munich flat where Gurlitt kept his collection


It's more that he couldn't cope. He certainly couldn't cope physically with the task of curating a collection which is comparable in number to that of many of the world's major galleries. The National Gallery in London, for example, has more than 2,000 works in its collection. Gurlitt's collection consisted of two-thirds that number - 1,280 works in his Munich apartment and 238 in his Salzburg house (of which 39 were oil paintings). The Gurlitt stash contains some masterpieces grand enough to get auctioneers salivating but also a lot of minor drawings and water-colours - but all required a care he couldn't give them.


He couldn't cope physically but he couldn't cope emotionally either. Cornelius Gurlitt was 24 when his father died in 1956. In the half century and more since, the son has lived under the burden of his father's instruction to preserve the collection built up in the 20s, 30s and 40s.
The father, Hildebrand, was then an art dealer who, despite a Jewish background, was approved by the Nazis to deal in works, some of which were either looted outright from Jewish families or bought under extreme duress from people preparing to flee for their lives.
The father died and the son had to cope with the legacy which was to be his security in old age but also a curse.
Cornelius Gurlitt is now recuperating from heart surgery as the lawyers swirl around him. The works are being pored over in secure warehouses by restorers and by experts trying to trace their history.


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Gurlitt's father Hildebrand amassed the collection

When you see them in their new environment with its regulated humidity, temperature and light, the effect is surprising - and strangely anti-climactic. The key turns on the thick metal door and in you go to be confronted by trestle-tables on which are works you immediately recognise as by Picasso, Renoir, Monet, Manet, Courbet and Cezanne - the style is there but the paintings don't shine like they would in a public gallery.
Cornelius Gurlitt's stash might fetch hundreds of millions of dollars at auction, but the impact doesn't match the price-tag. The paintings look like the bric-a-brac cleared from an old man's home - which is exactly what they are.


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Gurlitt owns one of Claude Monet's many paintings of Waterloo Bridge


There, on the wall, is a Monet, one of his many depictions of Waterloo Bridge over the Thames in London. He produced many in what seems like an obsessive study of the London weather - some in the delightful series show the brightness of a Spring morning, others the fog of Autumn. When a few have recently come up for auction in New York, they have each fetched $8m or $9m (£4.8m or £5.4m).



This one from the Gurlitt trove seems to be in the deep gloom of winter - but it's hard to say because there is such a sheen of grime over it. It needs a good clean.
These paintings and sculptures fall into three categories.
Firstly, there are some works which were without doubt stolen. Gurlitt's lawyer, Stephan Holzinger, told the BBC that his client - whom he described as "a very shy person a very discrete person" - had given instructions for these to be returned to the descendants of the original owners.
Secondly, there are works bought legitimately by Cornelius Gurlitt's father in unforced sales, either after the war or before the Nazis came to power.
And, thirdly and most contentiously, there are paintings accrued by Gurlitt's father during the war. This third group is the stuff of dispute.


In regard to these paintings, the law will move slowly. Firstly, Gurlitt kept his paintings in two sites, one in Austria and the other in Germany, so the law of two different lands applies. On top of that, German law puts a limit of 30 years on claims by the descendants of those from whom art was stolen to make themselves known - and that deadline has passed.
The paintings were held in secret for far more than 30 years so how could anyone have claimed them?
Deidre Berger of the Ramer Institute for German-Jewish Relations says the trove shows that there's a very large chapter of the Holocaust that hasn't been fully addressed.
"As we are seeing with this unravelling story and the large amount of looted art which seems to be involved there's not a lot of good laws available to help people to regain their stolen art," she says.
"The reality is that it's very difficult to find the owners of most of these pieces of art. The survivors were children at the time. How should they remember precisely what a painting looked like hanging in their living room 70 years ago?"
But every piece of art which is returned to its original owners, she says, is a victory against the Hitler era.
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Last edited by Nicky80 on Wed Mar 26 2014, 20:33; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : added text and pics)

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Re: George Clooney to Direct, Star In 'Monuments Men' About Stolen Nazi Art (Exclusive)

Post by Nicky80 on Wed Mar 26 2014, 20:35

Thanks PAN

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Re: George Clooney to Direct, Star In 'Monuments Men' About Stolen Nazi Art (Exclusive)

Post by it's me on Wed Mar 26 2014, 20:46

nice article! thanks Very Happy

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Re: George Clooney to Direct, Star In 'Monuments Men' About Stolen Nazi Art (Exclusive)

Post by Nicky80 on Wed Mar 26 2014, 20:54

Merged threads as the Gurlitt story of the found was covered here too (few pages back) so we have it together under one thread

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Re: George Clooney to Direct, Star In 'Monuments Men' About Stolen Nazi Art (Exclusive)

Post by Mazy on Thu Mar 27 2014, 00:42

Very informative article thanks, he is right it would make a good movie, someone will write it.

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Re: George Clooney to Direct, Star In 'Monuments Men' About Stolen Nazi Art (Exclusive)

Post by party animal - not! on Thu Mar 27 2014, 09:30

The follow-up piece by Steven Evans that went out yesterday evening:

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Re: George Clooney to Direct, Star In 'Monuments Men' About Stolen Nazi Art (Exclusive)

Post by Nicky80 on Thu Mar 27 2014, 19:26

Interesting video. thanks PAN.

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Re: George Clooney to Direct, Star In 'Monuments Men' About Stolen Nazi Art (Exclusive)

Post by it's me on Thu Mar 27 2014, 20:16

hope brilliant minds will solve the problem

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Re: George Clooney to Direct, Star In 'Monuments Men' About Stolen Nazi Art (Exclusive)

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