Shortly before D-Day, General Eisenhower outlined instructions for the most comprehensive effort in history by an army to fight a war while also trying to minimize the damage to cultural treasures; a program known as the "Monuments Men."
The Monuments, Fine Arts, and Archives program, often referred to as the "Monuments Men," was an international group established in 1943 that worked under the Civil Affairs and Military Government Sections to help protect cultural property during and after World War II. Their mission was as follows:
- Identify art, architecture, monuments, and archives that needed to be preserved.
- Work with Allied commanders to limit damage to these cultural resources.
- Work with local officials to stabilize and repair damages to monuments and architecture.
- Identify and locate art, archives, and other cultural resources that had been removed by German forces.
- Gather recovered works into staging areas for identification and preservation.
- Return the works to legitimate owners.
- Monthly Report of Military Gov Oct 1945
- Monthly report of Military Gov Sept 1945
- Notes for use at Luncheon at Met, April 2, 1946
- The Ancient Monuemnts of Italy, Part I Section 2, March 19, 1944
- The Ancient Monuments of Italy Part I Section 1, March 19,1944
- The Ancient Monumetns of Italy, Part II, March 19, 1944
- photo bracing the Last Supper before bombing, National Archives
- photo Generals Eisenhower, Bradley, Patton tour Merkers Mine April 12, 1945, US Army Signal Corps
- photo Last Supper wall after bombing, National Archives
- photo painting recovered in mine, National Archives
- photo solder examines recovered loot, National Archives
- photo soldier examines recovered art, National Archives
- photo soldier looks at recoverd from mine, National Archives
- photo soldier looks at recovered sculptures and paintings, National Archives
- photo soldier looks over recovered paintings, National Archives
- Photo Wintergarden recoered at Merkers, 1945, National Archives
- Photo Art being recovered, loading crates from Neuschwantein castle, National Archives
- photo Gold bullion, Merkers Salt Mine, 1945, National Achives
- Photo Monuments Men pose, National Archives