Monthly Archives: September 2007

“The Rape of Europa” Opens in Theatres

Image from Rape of Europa

Captain James Rorimer with fellow Monuments, Fine Arts, and Archives Officers recovering art from Neuschwanstein Castle in Bavaria. Rorimer later became director of the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. Photo: National Archives and Records Administration.

The Rape of Europa is a feature documentary film that takes the audience on an epic journey through seven countries and into the violent whirlwind of ideological fanaticism, greed, and warfare that threatened to wipe out the artistic heritage of Europe. For twelve long years, the Nazis looted and destroyed art on a scale unprecedented in history. Fighting back, heroic young museum officials and art historians from America and across Europe mounted a miraculous campaign to rescue and return the millions of art works displaced by the war. Today, more than sixty years later, the legacy of this tragic history continues to play out as families of looted collectors recover major works of art, conservators repair battle damage, and nations fight over the fate of ill-gotten spoils of war. Joan Allen narrates this breathtaking chronicle about the battle over the very survival of centuries of western culture. See the website for more information at