Monuments Men Reflection

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Monuments Men is a fairly recent film with the premise of a group of soldiers during World War II tasked with protecting the artwork within the continental Europe from those who want to take it. It primarily centers on the story of Frank Stokes, played by George Clooney, and how he is able to assemble a ragtag group of “soldiers” and actually enter the frontlines. Over the course of the story, the group loses a few members, but do manage to discover the stashes of art hidden by Hitler and save it from destruction, including the Ghent Altarpiece and the Lady Madonna. Despite having already watched this movie, is still struck me how much the movie’s message still resonated with me. The movie makes a clear case for the value of art, and I feel …show more content…

Before I watched the movie, I actually answered that art cannot have equal or greater importance than a human life. My initial reasoning was that one human life has the potential to do much more than what one piece of art can. However, after watching Monuments Men, it made me seriously reconsider my own reasoning on the subject. To those men, the pieces of art meant more than just a monetary value or some symbolic piece of art, the art was an integral part of human history. Europe was one of the oldest and most developed places on Earth, and the art that was being talked about were crucial to our understanding of previous times, like the Ghent Altarpiece. Another thing that changed my mind was how willing some of these men were to sacrifice their lives for the artwork, like the disgraced British man sacrificing himself to try and save the Madonna. Afterward, Stokes is asked by President Truman if he thought the Madonna was worth his life, and he resolutely said that it was worth it, making a clear case for this line of reasoning. If one person is willing to risk their life for a piece of art, than obviously it is worth the value of their own life in that person’s eyes, like the First Lady saving original portraits of past Presidents from burning during the War of 1812. The examples listed paint a very clear picture that if a piece of artwork is worth risking a life over, than it can be worth a human

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