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The Venus Fixers: The Remarkable Story of the Allied Monuments Officers Who Saved Italys Art During World War II
The Venus Fixers: The Remarkable Story of the Allied Monuments Officers Who Saved Italys Art During World War II by Ilaria Dagnini Brey 0312429908 9780312429904
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The Venus Fixers: The Remarkable Story of the Allied Monuments Officers Who Saved Italys Art During World War II by Ilaria Dagnini Brey

In 1943, with the world convulsed by war and a Fascist defeat in Europe far from certain, a few visionariescivilians and soldiers alikesaw past questions of life and death to realize that victory wasnt the only thing at stake. So was the priceless cultural heritage of thousands of years. In the midst of the conflict, the Allied Forces appointed the monuments officersa motley group of art historians, curators, architects, and artiststo ensure that the great masterworks of European art and architecture were not looted or bombed into oblivion. The journalist Ilaria Dagnini Brey focuses her spellbinding account on the monuments officers of Italy, quickly dubbed the Venus Fixers by bemused troops. Working on the front lines in conditions of great deprivation and danger, these unlikely soldiers stripped the great galleries of their incomparable holdings and sent them into safety by any means they could; when trucks could not be requisitioned or borrowed, a Tiepolo altarpiece might make its midnight journey across the countryside balanced in the front basket of a bicycle. They blocked a Nazi convoy of two hundred stolen paintingsincludingDanae, Titians voluptuous masterpiece, an intended birthday present for Hermann Gring.They worked with skeptical army strategists to make sure air raids didnt take out the heart of an ancient city, and patched up Renaissance palazzi and ancient churches whose lead roofs were sometimes melted away by the savagery of the attacks, exposing their frescoed interiors to the harsh Tuscan winters and blistering summers. Sometimes they failed. But to an astonishing degree, they succeeded, and anyone who marvels at Italys artistic riches today is witnessing their handiwork. In the course of her research, Brey gained unprecedented access to private archives and primary sources, and the result is a book at once thorough and grandly entertaininga revelatory take on a little-known chapter of World War II history.The Venus Fixersis an adventure story with the gorgeous tints of a Botticelli landscape as its backdrop.

Author: Ilaria Dagnini Brey

Language: English

Edition: First Edition

Binding: Paperback

Pages: 336

Publisher: Picador

Publication Date: 2010-06-22

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ISBN: 0312429908


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Ilaria Dagnini Brey (Edition: First Edition) Paperback

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