CULVER CITY, Calif., May 8, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- At a ceremony today at the U.S. National Archives in Washington, D.C., Monuments Men Foundation Founder and Chairman Robert Edsel donated "Hitler Album No. 6" to the Archive, reuniting it with 39 other "Hitler Albums" recovered at the end of World War II. Chief Archivist of the United States, David Ferriero, accepted the album from the foundation and Monuments Man Harry Ettlinger. Ettlinger represents the historic group honored most recently in Sony Pictures' THE MONUMENTS MEN , which is based on Mr. Edsel's No.1 New York Times' bestselling book of the same name.
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George Clooney's action thriller THE MONUMENTS MEN is now available on Digital from Sony Pictures Home Entertainment, starring Clooney, Matt Damon, Bill Murray, John Goodman, Jean Dujardin, Bob Balaban, Hugh Bonneville and Cate Blanchett.[i] The Blu-ray™ Combo Pack and DVD are available on May 20, including bonus features with Ettlinger and Edsel, who worked closely with Clooney during the production of the film.
The brown leather-bound album of photographs donated today was created by the staff of a special Nazi taskforce, the Einsatzstab Reichsleiter Rosenberg (ERR), which documented Hitler's systematic looting of cultural treasures in Nazi-occupied Europe. The ERR staff catalogued the French collections by creating leather-bound photo albums, including Album No. 6, with each page containing a photograph of one stolen item with inventory codes denoting the family to which it belonged. These albums were specifically created for Hitler in an effort to keep him apprised of the ERR's progress in France. In May 1945, 39 original ERR albums, along with records that documented the confiscation of thousands of looted items, were discovered at the Castle of Neuschwanstein in Germany by the Monuments Men, including Lt. James Rorimer, who after the war became the sixth Director of the Metropolitan Museum of Art. The albums were subsequently taken to the Munich Central Collecting Point, where they were used by the Monuments Men, including Harry Ettlinger, to assist in the restitution process. The albums were also introduced as evidence at the Nuremberg trials to document the massive Nazi art looting operation.Today, the U.S. National Archives has custody of the original 39 albums. It was believed that additional ERR albums had been destroyed during the latter days of World War II. However, since 2007, The Monuments Men Foundation discovered three additional albums, which have since been donated to the U.S. National Archives, joining the original 39 albums. Album No. 6 was found when an heir of an American soldier stationed in the Berchtesgaden area of Germany contacted the Monuments Men Foundation. In the closing days of World War II, the soldier had entered Hitler's home in the Bavarian Alps and picked up the album as a souvenir. The soldier's nephew, who later inherited the album, was initially unaware of their historical significance until meeting with Edsel. "The Foundation often receives calls on our toll free tip line, 1-866-WWII-ART, from veterans and their heirs, who don't know the importance of cultural and artistic items they brought home after their military service, or aren't aware that anyone is looking for the items," Edsel stated. "This album is just the tip of the iceberg, and thanks to George Clooney and the success of The Monuments Men film, global awareness about these heroes of civilization has increased dramatically. We are delighted, and anticipate that the home entertainment rollout of the film will continue to help us honor the legacy of the men and women, and complete their mission by locating and returning works of art and cultural items to their rightful owners." Bonus features on THE MONUMENTS MEN include two all-new featurettes that highlight the making of the film. The first, " George Clooney's Mission," features interviews with Clooney, as well as the rest of the cast, on the elements that went into completing THE MONUMENTS MEN . The second featurette, "Marshalling the Troops," features a cast discussion on the real men and women who inspired the film. Exclusively available on the Blu-ray Combo Pack are deleted scenes and two additional exclusive featurettes. "In Their Own Words" is a unique piece that offers the most comprehensive and direct insight into the hearts and minds of the heroes, featuring an interview with Ettlinger, one of the last surviving members of the Monuments Men. "A Woman Amongst the Monuments Men" features a discussion with Cate Blanchett about her film character, Claire Simone, who is based on French heroine Rose Valland. THE MONUMENTS MEN is rated PG-13 for SOME IMAGES OF WAR VIOLENCE & HISTORICAL SMOKING. Artwork is available at www.sphepublicity.com . Visit Sony Pictures Home Entertainment on the Web at www.SonyPictures.com. About THE MONUMENTS MEN FOUNDATION: The Monuments Men Foundation for the Preservation of Art is a recipient of the National Humanities Medal, the highest honor given in the United States for excellence in the Humanities field. The Foundation was created to raise public awareness of the 350 men and women from thirteen nations, many of whom were museum directors, curators, and educators, who protected monuments and other cultural treasures from the destruction of World War II. By 1945, these heroes of civilization had tracked, located and later returned more than 5 million artistic and cultural items stolen by Hitler and the Nazis. The Foundation Mission statement is as follows: To preserve the legacy of the unprecedented and heroic work of the men and women who served in the Monuments, Fine Arts, and Archives ("MFAA") section, known as "Monuments Men," during World War II, by raising public awareness of the importance of protecting and safeguarding civilization's most important artistic and cultural treasures from armed conflict, while incorporating these expressions of man's greatest creative achievements into our daily lives. For more information about the Monuments Men Foundation, please visit www.monumentsmenfoundation.org. SONY PICTURES HOME ENTERTAINMENT Sony Pictures Home Entertainment is a Sony Pictures Entertainment (SPE) company. Sony Pictures Entertainment (SPE) is a subsidiary of Sony Corporation of America, a subsidiary of Tokyo-based Sony Corporation. SPE's global operations encompass motion picture production and distribution; television production and distribution; home entertainment acquisition and distribution; a global channel network; digital content creation and distribution; operation of studio facilities; development of new entertainment products, services and technologies; and distribution of entertainment in more than 159 countries. For additional information, go to http://www.sonypictures.com/ [i]Two-time Academy Award ® winner Clooney ( Argo, Best Motion Picture of the Year, 2012), Academy Award ® winner Matt Damon ( Good Will Hunting , Best Writing, Screenplay Written Directly for the Screen, 1997), Bill Murray ( The Grand Budapest Hotel), John Goodman ( Argo), Academy Award ® winner Jean Dujardin ( The Artist, Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role, 2011), Bob Balaban ( The Grand Budapest Hotel), Hugh Bonneville (TV's "Downton Abbey") & Academy Award ® winner Cate Blanchett ( Blue Jasmine, Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role, 2013). Photo - http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20140508/86056 SOURCE Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
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