September 22, 2007
Robert Edsel will tell you he’s no Indiana Jones. But the former Dallas oilman has traded the search for Texas black gold for what he calls the greatest treasure hunt in history.
Like the swashbuckling Jones, Mr. Edsel has faced countless roadblocks and general skepticism.
[Click image for a larger version]
Americans known as the “Monuments Men” carried paintings that had been stolen by Nazis from Neuschwanstein castle in Germany. The Allied force rescued thousands of works, including many of Europe’s most famous masterpieces.
“I would say it’s the great untold story of World War II,” he says. “To try to convince people that there’s still a great, untold story about World War II out there – you’re really swimming upstream.”
He sees the story as nothing short of epic: How an obscure group of 350 men and women helped save Western civilization from the Nazis’ unprecedented and systematic looting and destruction of Europe’s great paintings, monuments and other cultural treasures.