Mr. Clooney, I must thank you for making Monuments Men once again. I must be brief because storms have started again and I must make sure our dog feels safe.
I learned things backwards in college as art taught me history (our old dog Zoe just came out to the office to see me during the next round of this incessant storm and I placed her on the sofa). History did not teach me art. History only taught me dates, 1066, Battle of Hastings. When I put things together between my curricula everything started to make sense.
The art of Greece, Romans, Medieval, Renaissance and Reformation plus Impressionists and even Dada-ism, gave me insight into the politics of the day. Yes, I worked in politics for a bit but ended up in arts and consulting.
When your crew, in the film, brought back the Ghent altarpiece that now resides at the Getty Museum in Los Angeles, I felt it. Especially so with Michelangelo’s Madonna and Child at the Bruges church. Now it has a different abode, with bulletproof glass and no visitors within 15 feet.
What are we doing to our art now? I consider it ours, the world’s populace, as it is our heritage. At the 1964 World’s Fair where most people think aliens take off near the historic world dome, I saw the Pieta. We only got to go down an escalator into a black room with a white light on this historic work, then go back up on another several feet away.
I will never forget that day, just as I didn’t when JFK was killed. I was five years old and knew I had a passion I’d find someday. Years later I went to St. Peters’ at the Vatican and they, Madonna and the Dead Jesus Christ were there, but protected after the Pieta was shot. I have not been back since that day over 30 years ago.
Sad that we are doing to this art what the Nazis did, they did protect or burn it to keep it from the people who love it. We just have it in museums that don’t allow most people in because of high ticket prices. Perhaps they might see a work their family owned before the War. I’ve traversed the Ponte Vecchio many times as well as Florence’s churches and new bridges, post WWII. I’ve seen what war has done to Europe and Britain and the US. Also floods, think 1966, the rising of the Arno and Cimabue’s Altarpiece.
I believe these soldiers and their compatriots in the art world and not necessarily the Army, deserve credit. Thank you and I must go, the storms have taken up again and it’s only me and the dog tonight so she needs to be taken care of. Dee