BookBrowse Reviews Saving Italy by Robert M. Edsel

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Saving Italy

The Race to Rescue a Nation's Treasures from the Nazis

By Robert M. Edsel

Saving Italy
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  • Hardcover: May 2013,
    480 pages.
    Paperback: Feb 2014,
    496 pages.

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Book Reviewed by:
Heather A Phillips

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An unforgettable story of epic thievery and political intrigue, Saving Italy is a testament to heroism on behalf of art, culture, and history.

It is a struggle epitomized by the fate of da Vinci's The Last Supper. It wasn't a code or a mystery, but a task of herculean and largely unsung effort: How to protect Italy's cultural treasures – some of the greatest art that Western Civilization has ever known – from both the Nazis and the ravages of war.

The Last Supper, already deteriorating due to the ravages of time, was further damaged in 1943 when an Allied bomb directly hit the building that housed it. The only thing that preserved this most famous mural was the protective sandbagging and scaffolding that prevented the wall from crumbling and the mural from bomb debris damage. But for the foresight to protect and the impetus to repair and restore the famous painting, it well might have been lost.

Word that The Last Supper had been saved from near distruction reached American ears and, just days after, an ...

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