Records, photos of the real 'Monuments Men' go on display in DC as movie opens nationwide

The Associated Press

This 1945 handout photo provided by the Smithsonian Institution shows the rescuing of Michelangelo’s Madonna and Child in Altaussee, Austria. Photographs, maps and records from the real corps of soldiers known as “Monuments Men” who were tasked with protecting European cultural sites and recovering looted art during World War II are going on display in Washington, many for the first time. (AP Photo/Smithsonian Institution)

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By BRETT ZONGKER, Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) — Photographs, maps and records from the real corps of soldiers known as "Monuments Men" who were tasked with protecting European cultural sites and recovering looted art during World War II are going on display in Washington, many for the first time.

George Clooney and Matt Damon tell the story of "The Monuments Men" on screen in their new movie opening Friday. It's a story that comes straight out of the National Archives and the nation's art repositories that have ties to the real monuments men and women.

Now the National Gallery of Art, Smithsonian Archives of American Art and National Archives are opening their vaults to display original records and photographs of the mission to protect European culture.

The exhibits include photos and documents showing art recovered from the Nazis.

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