Monuments Men

I wrote this about Ghirlandaio:

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Please do take the time to see Sta. Croce and the Pazzi Chapel, then cross the bridge behind it and make the walk. Stop at the church halfway up and give some money to the lady who takes care of the feral cats there. Make sure she knows the money is for the gatti, or cats, otherwise she’ll be insulted as if you called her a beggar. She used to bring them great trays of pasta from a local restaurant.

Then I went to cooking school in Tuscany for my birthday one year and went to San Gimignano for an afternoon. 18 of us were on a custom bus and we had one hour to see the town. Two of us ran 20 minutes to Sta. Fina, with earlier Ghirlandiao fresci. Spent 20 minutes there then ran back and made it just in time.

If you don’t have the resources for an art tour of Italy right now (I don’t) please check out Tea With Mussolini, a film with Maggie Smith, Judi Dench, Joan Plowright, and Cher. If you’ve been to Florence or San Gimignano you may even recognize the streets as it was filmed beautifully. Yes, Cher, and brilliant as a newly rich American with a heart of gold.

Take care and think about how art changes lives. Then remember that art was all people had before Guttenberg and reading. Think of your reading skills and your children’s and have them appreciate art as well. There is a reason for all those religious stories in painting and sculpture, no matter what religion you follow of if you follow none at all.

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Hitler stole all the art. We liberated some of it. I don’t like war movies per se but love this one. I can see paintings go by and thanks to Fr. Murphy can identify them in a heartbeat. Our monuments men, at the end of WWII could not save the millions of people who died during this war. They did save our history and culture. Whenever I visit a gallery I question “who owned this painting?” Where did they die? I did visit Dachau, no German wanted to tell me where it was. There were no signs. Only a camp.

The Germans stole lives and culture. Please go visit your local art gallery and find the art that families died for and could never retrieve. Dee

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