ICPL celebrates Monuments Men with two events

by on June 12th, 2015

The Iowa City Public Library will celebrate a piece of American history with a screening of Monuments Men on Wednesday, June 24.

This 2014 film, directed and co-written by George Clooney, stars Matt Damon, Bill Murray, John Goodman, Jean Dujardin, Bob Balaban, Hugh Bonneville, Cate Blanchett, and Clooney. It is loosely based on the non-fiction book The Monuments Men: Allied Heroes, Nazi Thieves and the Greatest Treasure Hunt in History.

During World War II, the Allies are making good progress driving back the Axis powers in Italy. However, Frank Stokes (played by Clooney) persuades the American President that victory will have little meaning if the artistic treasures of Western civilization are lost in the fighting. Stokes is directed to assemble an Army unit nicknamed the “Monuments Men,” comprising seven museum directors, curators, and art historians to both guide Allied units and search for stolen art to return it to its rightful owners.

The movie will be shown on the big screen in Meeting Room A beginning at 7 p.m. Popcorn will be provided.

Eager to learn about Iowa’s connection to Monuments Men? Join us for a presentation by Nancy Trask, director of the Winterset Public Library in Winterset, Iowa, about Iowa’s own Monuments Man, George Stout, at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, July 1.

Iowa native Stout was a member of the U.S. Army’s Monuments, Fine Arts and Archives Program. Established in 1943 to help protect cultural property in war areas during and after World War II, Stout was one of about 400 service members and civilians who worked with military forces to safeguard historic and cultural monuments from war damage. As the conflict came to a close, the mission shifted to find and return works of art and other items of cultural importance that had been stolen by the Nazis or hidden for safekeeping.

In the movie Monuments Men, George Clooney’s character — Frank Stokes — is based on George Stout.

Iowa’s Own Monuments Man: George Stout will be held in Meeting Room A. This event also will be broadcast live on The Library Channel, Iowa City cable channel 20.

For more information, contact the Library at (319) 356-5200.

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