The Monuments Men, the George Clooney-directed movie based on Robert Edsel's book about the men tasked with saving monuments and recovering art during and after the World War II Allied invasion of mainland Europe, opens in theaters on February 7th.
The picture stars Clooney, Matt Damon, Bill Murray, John Goodman, Jean Dujardin, Bob Balaban, Hugh Bonneville and Cate Blanchett playing characters based on the real-life people who worked in the MFAA (Monuments, Fine Arts and Archives) group. They play middle-aged, (mostly) out-of-shape museum directors, artists, curators and art historians recruited in an attempt to preserve Europe's cultural legacy in the face of war.
While the group's was originally to point out historically significant buildings that shouldn't be bombed if possible, they soon learned that the Nazis were stealing millions of pieces of fine art from the countries they invaded and the Monuments Men set out to recover the stolen works. Check out Military.com's slideshow for some photos of the real-life Monuments Men.