JCU Alumna Anna Bottinelli Discusses Her Work with The Monuments Men Foundation

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 From left, Robert M. Edsel, Grant Heslov, George Clooney and the Monuments Men Foundation team, Christy Fox, Anna Bottinelli, Elizabeth Hudson and Dorothee Schneider. (photo: Robert M. Edsel Collection)

From left, Robert M. Edsel, Grant Heslov, George Clooney and the Monuments Men Foundation team, Christy Fox, Anna Bottinelli, Elizabeth Hudson and Dorothee Schneider. (photo: Robert M. Edsel Collection)

John Cabot University’s alumna Anna Bottinelli (Class of 2010) is a young, committed and passionate art scholar who works to preserve the memory of the Monuments Men as she explained in her talk to the JCU community on March 6th.

The well-known movie The Monuments Men starring George Clooney, Matt Damon and Cate Blanchett has brought attention to a hidden chapter of WW2: the enormous amount of art works stolen all over Europe by the Nazi during their occupation.

The small group of scholars, architects, and archivists that during WW2 decided to join the army to preserve churches, monuments and museums and bring back the stolen pieces was unfortunately not able to complete its work. There are still paintings, old books and sculptures that have not been found.

Anna, with Robert Edsel’s researching team of the Monuments Men Foundation for the Preservation of Art, daily researches all over Italy to return the missing works of art to the rightful owners. As she says “we want to preserve the memory of the Monuments Men who risked their lives to save art and to complete their mission.”

Anna has not been directly involved in the research behind the book The Monuments Men: Allied Heroes, Nazi Thieves and the Greatest Treasure Hunt in History published in 2009 but has contributed to the launch of its translation into Italian, in May 2013. She has extensively researched on Italy since 2010 contributing to the writing of Saving Italy: The Race to Rescue a Nation’s Treasure from the Nazis (2013) a sort of sequel of The Monuments Men but focused on what the Monuments Men did in Italy. She also continues in helping with the restitution of stolen artworks and pieces such as eight books from the University of Naples found by an American soldier in the bombed city of Minturno on the Gustav line.

Anna joined the Monuments Men Foundation when still a JCU student thanks to an email forwarded by her Art History Professor Lila Yawn. As Anna said “without such close relationship with professors I wouldn’t have had such an opportunity.”