Wonderful read – Saving Italy: The Race to Rescue a Nation’s Treasures from the Nazis

Rereading this for my trip to Italy I am again reminded of the debt mankind owed to President Roosevelt for setting up the Roberts Commission on June 1943 to protect and save the historical monuments and art treasures of Europe in the midst of ww2. Viewed in this context, the failure of the UN and the American President at the material time to prevent the destruction of Palmyra and the priceless Assyrian treasures in the Mosul museum in 2015 showed how the world now lacks the leadership that shone so brightly during ww2.

This excellent book focuses on Italy. It tells us that the Last supper was nearly bombed by the RAF, how Hitler ‘s love for Rome and Florence resulted in him ordering that there must not be a battle of Rome and Florence, and Rome’ s and Florence’s bridges must not be destroyed. The research on how the art treasures of Michelangelo, Caravaggio etc were retrieved from the Nazis is wonderful and the suspense brilliantly presented. I highly recommend this book for military history lovers and art lovers.

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