NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC CHANNEL PRESENTS THE DOCUMENTARY COMPANION TO GEORGE CLOONEY'S HIGHLY ANTICIPATED WORLD WAR II DRAMA IN "HUNTING HITLER'S STOLEN TREASURES: THE MONUMENTS MEN"
Never-Before-Published Archival Sources, Sneak-Preview Footage from the Feature Film, and Compelling Interviews with the Cast, Historians and a Surviving Member of the Monuments Men Unit Shed Light on the Greatest Treasure Hunt in History
Hunting Hitler's Stolen Treasures: The Monuments Men
Premieres Wednesday, Feb. 5, at 8 PM ET/PT on NGC
(Washington DC - Jan. 30, 2014) Just two days before George Clooney brings the drama and action of one of the greatest treasure hunts in history to life in "The Monuments Men," the National Geographic Channel (NGC) is proud to present the documentary companion to the feature film.
Hunting Hitler's Stolen Treasures: The Monuments Men sheds light on an unlikely unit of middle-aged art scholars that rescued thousands of years' worth of European art and culture from Nazi-occupied Europe. The remarkable true story is told through the personal accounts of a surviving member of the actual Monuments Men unit, interviews with expert historians and family members, and candid conversations with the A-list actors who appear in the movie. The one-hour television special (premiering Wednesday, Feb. 5, at 8 p.m. ET/PT on NGC) weaves together extensive archive video and photographs, journals and letter extracts, along with exclusive footage from the feature film, to offer a unique blend of nonfiction storytelling with a flair of Hollywood cinema.
"Art is the soul of a society, it represents the very best things that we have achieved, and to go after that art and try to rescue it and try to save it and protect it and preserve it is this incredibly noble endeavor," explains actor Matt Damon when asked about the significance of the Monuments Men's role in World War II.
As the Allies fought to liberate Europe, it was the Monuments Men's job to save its soul. Volunteering for the front lines of the bloodiest war in history, these brave men, among them museum curators, artists, architects and art historians, hunted down thousands of cultural treasures that had been stolen from the private collections of wealthy Jews. During the final years of World War II, Adolf Hitler plundered Renaissance masterpieces, Michelangelos, DaVincis and a mind-boggling number of priceless historic artifacts. They even "burnt Picassos, they burnt Salvador Dalis, they burnt Klees, they just pulled them out and burned them," explains Clooney. The looting was all part of the Third Reich's vision to culturally dominate the world.
Starting just a month after the first shot was fired on D-Day and ending in the desperate last days of the Soviet advance on Berlin, Hunting Hitler's Stolen Treasures: The Monuments Men charts the remarkable journey of this overlooked group who risked their lives to save, recover and return an estimated 5 million irreplaceable pieces of art and cultural artifacts stolen by the Nazis during World War II. Without the deliberate actions taken by the Monuments Men, an important chapter of history would have been completely lost.
Hunting Hitler's Stolen Treasures: The Monuments Men is produced for National Geographic Channel by October Films. For October Films, executive producer is Adam Bullmore, producer is Rebecca Hayman and director is Paul Nelson. For National Geographic Channel, executive producer is Hannah Demidowicz and president is Howard T. Owens.
For more information, visit www.natgeotv.com or www.ngcpr.com and follow us on Twitter @NGC_PR.
# # #
National Geographic Channels
Based at the National Geographic Society headquarters in Washington, D.C., the National Geographic Channels US are a joint venture between National Geographic and Fox Networks. The Channels contribute to the National Geographic Society's commitment to exploration, conservation and education with smart, innovative programming and profits that directly support its mission. Launched in January 2001, National Geographic Channel (NGC) celebrated its fifth anniversary with the debut of NGC HD. In 2010, the wildlife and natural history cable channel Nat Geo WILD was launched, and in 2011, the Spanish-language network Nat Geo Mundo was unveiled. The Channels have carriage with all of the nation's major cable, telco and satellite television providers, with NGC currently available in over 85 million U.S. homes. Globally, National Geographic Channel is available in more than 440 million homes in 171 countries and 45 languages. For more information, visit www.natgeotv.com.