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‘The Monuments Men’ to be discussed at Sanibel Public Library

By Staff | Mar 31, 2010

“The Monuments Men” by Robert M. Edsel is the topic of discussion for the Non-Fiction Book Discussion Group on Thursday, April 8. The group, led by Duane E. Shaffer, will meet at 2 p.m. in Meeting Room #4 of the Sanibel Public Library, located at 770 Dunlop Road.

WWII was the most destructive war in history and caused the greatest dislocation of cultural artifacts. Hundreds of thousands of items remain missing. The main burden fell to a few hundred men and women, curators and archivists, artists and art historians from 13 nations.Their task was to save and preserve what they could of Europe’s great art, and they were called the Monuments Men.

Edsel has presented their achievements in documentaries and photographs. He and Witter (co-author of the bestselling “Dewey”) are no loess successful here. Focusing on the organization’s role in northwest Europe, they describe the Monuments Men from their initial mission to limit combat damage to structures and artifacts to their changed focus of locating missing items. Most had been stolen by the Nazis. In southern Germany alone, over a thousand caches emerged, containing everything from church bells to insect collections.

The story of “The Monuments Men” is both engaging and inspiring. In the midst of a total war, armies systematically sought to mitigate cultural loss.

On Wednesday, April 28, the library’s Fiction Book Discussion Group will meet at 2 p.m. to discuss “Bleeding Kansas” by Sara Paretsky.

In “Bleeding Kansas,” two families – linked by their mid-western pioneer pasts and dark family secrets – threaten to be torn apart when the son of one of the families is killed in Iraq.

For more information about either Book Discussion Group, call 472-2483.