By Ilaria Dagnini Brey
In 1943, while the global used to be convulsed by way of struggle, a couple of visionaries—in the personal zone and within the military—committed to guard Europe's cultural background from the indiscriminate ravages of worldwide warfare Two.
And so the Allies appointed the Monuments officials, a motley staff of paintings historians, curators, architects, and artists, to make sure that the masterpieces of ecu artwork and structure weren't looted or bombed into oblivion. Often operating as shellfire exploded round them, the Monuments men and women of Italy shored up tottering palaces and cathedrals, safeguarded Michelangelos and Giottos, or even blocked a Nazi convoy of stolen work certain for Göring's celebration. occasionally they failed. yet to an remarkable measure they succeeded, and their tale is an exceptional event with the beautiful tints of a Botticelli as its backdrop.
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Additional resources for The Venus Fixers: The Remarkable Story of the Allied Monuments Officers Who Saved Italy's Art During World War II
They justified their intransigence by citing an order of the Sedici Riformatori which prohibited Bolognese from obeying the rulings of Papal tribunals, and successfully appealed to the Sedici for confirmation of their stand. The case carried on regardless with the Minori pursuing it through ecclesiastical courts more sympathetic to their cause, and the Maggiori countering in the civic courts which, in the early 1440s, were set against any papal judicial interference in the city. 20 It was the only schism among Bolognese confraternities in the fifteenth century 20 Summaries of the transactions are found in: BBA Fondo Malvezzi, Cartono 198, #5.
Attention fell instead on the Madonna della Guardia which had been gaining prominence through the monthly processions of the Trentatre confraternity. Albergati seized on the opportunity to increase the stature of the the shrine further. All that had to be decided was who would bring the image into the city. The canons and confraternity of the Impruneta church performed this honor in Florence, but the Guardia shrine had no clergy associated with it. The Trentatre confraternity would then have been the most likely candidate, but through either Albergati's desire to broaden the number of lay brotherhoods involved in the civic cult, or Accarisi's desire to bring increased honor to his own confraternity of S.
23, Pt. 1, vol. iv , p. 64. Fanti, "Madonna di San Luca," p. 191. E. Gottarelli, I Viaggi della Madonna di San Luca, (Bologna: 1976), pp. 14; 19; Fanti, "Madonna di San Luca," p. 191. Popes Clement VII, Pius IV, Pius V, and Gregory XIII all confirmed the privileges of the Company of S. Maria della Morte. The cathedral canons' long fight w o n them an honorable position nonetheless, stationed immediately before and after the image in the annual procession. Gottarelli, I Viaggi, pp. 19-21. THE EARLY QUATTROCENTO 27 circuit through the whole city, but visited the quarters of Porta Stiera, Procola, Ravennate, and Piera in a four-year rotation.
The Venus Fixers: The Remarkable Story of the Allied Monuments Officers Who Saved Italy's Art During World War II by Ilaria Dagnini Brey