Monuments Men

Monuments Men & Allied Effort to Save European Cultural Heritage


The Monuments, Fine Arts, and Archives program, often referred to as the Monuments Men, was an international group established in 1943 that worked under the Civil Affairs and Military Government Sections to help protect cultural property during and after World War II. Their mission was as follows:
  • Identify art, architecture, monuments, and archives that needed to be preserved.
  • Work with Allied commanders to limit damage to these cultural resources.
  • Work with local officials to stabilize and repair damages to monuments and architecture.
  • Identify and locate art, archives, and other cultural resources that had been removed by German forces.
  • Gather recovered works into staging areas for identification and preservation.
  • Return the works to legitimate owners.
  1. Documents
  2. Photographs
  3. Other Primary Sources
  4. Secondary Sources
  5. See Also
Cable from General Marshall to General Eisenhower Regarding Protection of Artistic and Historic Monuments in Italy, October 14, 1943 (PDF) [Eisenhower's Pre-Presidential Papers, Principal File, Box 132, Cables Official (GCM/DDE) July 29, 1943 - February 19, 1944 (3); NAID Number 7585075]

Memorandum from John J. McCloy to General Eisenhower, December 13, 1943 (PDF) [Eisenhower's Pre-Presidential Papers, Principal File, Box 75, McCloy John J. (3); NAID Number 7584064]

The Ancient Monuments of Italy, Part I, March 19, 1944 (Section 1 of 2) (PDF) [Lauris Norstad Papers, Box 14, The Ancient Monuments of Italy Part 1; NAID Number 7585003]

The Ancient Monuments of Italy, Part I, March 19, 1944 (Section 2 of 2) (PDF) [Lauris Norstad Papers, Box 14, The Ancient Monuments of Italy Part 2; NAID Number 75850004]

The Ancient Monuments of Italy, Part II, March 19, 1944 (PDF) [Lauris Norstad Papers, Box 14, The Ancient Monuments of Italy Part II; NAID Number 16911769]

Memorandum from General Dwight D. Eisenhower Regarding Preservation of Historical Monuments in Europe, May 26, 1944 (PDF) [Eisenhower's Pre-Presidential Papers, Principal File, Box 13, Bradley Omar 6; NAID Number 7505528]

Annex XX (Monuments, Fine Arts, and Archives) to Basic Preliminary Plan, Allied Control and Occupation of Germany (Control Council Period), February - April 1945 (PDF) [Eisenhower Library Collection of 20th Century Military Records, Series II, Box 20; NAID Number 75850009]

Cable from General Marshall to General Eisenhower, April 10, 1945 (PDF) [Walter Bedell Smith Collection of WWII Documents, Box 28, Eyes Only Cables 1945 (incoming) (3); NAID Number 7585000]

Cable from General Eisenhower to General Marshall, April 11, 1945 (PDF) [Walter Bedell Smith Collection of WWII Documents, Box 28, Eyes Only Cables 1945 (outgoing) (4); NAID Number 7585002]

Monthly Report of Military Governor, U.S. Zone, 20 September 1945, No. 2: Monuments, Fine Arts and Archives, September 20, 1945 (PDF) [Eisenhower's Pre-Presidential Papers, Principal File, Box 150, Military Government of Germany: Monthly Report of the Military Governor, U.S. 2; NAID Number 7583533]

Monthly Report of Military Governor, U.S. Zone, 20 October 1945, No. 3: Reparations and Restitution, October 20, 1945 (PDF) [Eisenhower's Pre-Presidential Papers, Principal File, Box 150, Military Government of Germany: Monthly Report of the Military Governor, U.S. 4; NAID Number 7583534]

Notes for Use at Luncheon Given at Metropolitan Museum of Art, April 2, 1946 (PDF) [Eisenhower's Pre-Presidential Papers, Principal File, Box 192, Speeches November 1945 - April 1946 (1); NAID Number 7583544]

Arts, Monuments and Archives: A Provisional Technical Manual for Civil Affairs/Military Government, April 1951 (PDF) [This guide draws heavily on the wartime experiences of the Monuments Men] [Eisenhower Library Collection of 20th Century Military Records, Series III, Box 5; NAID Number 7585010]