A new book reveals how Jacques Jaujard worked out a modus vivendi with the Nazis of civil co-existence which helped him to oversee the evacuation of Louvre’s treasures including the Mona Lisa (pictured being returned to Louvre in 1945) during World War II. He was able to protect thousands of cultural masterpieces from destruction
Daily Mail: Quiet man who saved the Mona Lisa from the Nazis’ clutches: Fascinating account of the thousands of French masterpieces saved during World War II
* A new book reveals how the Louvre’s treasures were protected in World War II
* Jacques Jaujard ensured items were kept safe from bombs, damp and the Nazis
* He had items including the Mona Lisa evacuated out of Paris during 1939
* Dukes in the South and West of France sheltered the cultural items in chateaux
* However the Nazi's destroyed some 500 masterpieces including work by Picaso
Reading Hamlet at school, I was taught that the delaying habit is a bad one. This new book, about how the Louvre’s priceless treasures were protected during the German occupation of France in World War II, utterly contradicts that theory.
It was through the delaying tactics of a self-effacing civil servant called Jacques Jaujard that the precious objects we most associate with the Louvre — the Mona Lisa, the Venus de Milo, the French crown jewels, as well as thousands of other items — were saved from destruction through bombing or damp.
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CSN Editor: A truly fascinating story.