George Clooney, the director and lead actor of recently released film ‘Monuments Men’, has shed light on a crucial debate previously discussed only by academics that has now flooded the public forum. This debate questions the process of returning Nazi-era provenance art back to their rightful owners, which includes Jews, art dealers, churches and anyone other than Aryan descent according to Nazi ideology. Clooney’s interpretation of a true story set in 1945 is of a task force of artists and historians from Europe and America who sought to protect and return stolen art. This was estimated at a fifth of the world’s art (250,000 pieces), to the value of $2.5 billion at the end of the war. Today, the value is astounding. Some looted artworks were found undamaged and stored under salt mines or hidden away in homes of dealers and thieves. Unfortunately, other masterpieces were recovered tarnished under heaps of debris and rubble from the war.
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