In the last days of World War II a drama unfolded at an Austrian salt mine where more than 22,000 Nazi-looted works of art were stashed. As the Allies approached, those in charge were prepared to blow it all up. But plans were thwarted.
Several groups claim to have saved these treasures, amongst them the Americans portrayed in the movie, The Monuments Men. But who actually rescued the works by Michelangelo, Rembrandt and Vermeer? And what were the motives of all the players in the greatest art theft the world has ever known?
On Sunday, February 19 at 2 p.m. the Fine Arts Film Festival in collaboration with le Conseil des arts de Montréal en tournée will present the film Hitler’s Mountain of Stolen Art at Victoria Hall. As part of its full slate of art documentaries, in its description of the film FIFA writes “By way of Franco-German network Arte, and rather oddly translated from the French title “Les Oeuvres volées par Hitler ou l’incroyable sauvetage” (the film will be presented in German and English with French subtitles. Directors Petra Dorrmann and André Schäfer’s “Hitler’s Mountain of Stolen Art” asks who was responsible for rescuing the large part of the cache of works hidden in the Altaussee salt mine in Austria that Hitler had ordered destroyed as he realized the war was lost. The noted “Monuments Men” are in the frame, but only alongside art-loving Nazis and mine employees, a Viennese art historian and a member of the local resistance.”
The film will follow a short presentation by Catherine MacKenzie, professor in the Department of Art History at Concordia University, who teaches courses in Nazi art-looting and its aftermath. MacKenzie is also the curator of the travelling international exhibition, Auktion 392: Reclaiming the Galerie Stern Düsseldorf.. For more information 514.989.5226.