1945: The Mona Lisa Being Unpacked At The End Of World War II (Colorized)
One Of Many Treasures Held By Foreign Powers During WWII
World War II and the Nazis incited some of the worst war crimes ever perpetrated by human beings. However, they didn’t stop with just people. Hitler was obsessed with creating a new world order with the German people standing as leaders of his white-washed world. To further his aims, Hitler created the Nazi's Reichsleiter Rosenberg Task force to plunder precious art from all over Europe. According to estimates, over 20% of Europe’s artwork ended up in the hands of the Nazis.
As part of his many delusions, Hitler planned a Führer Museum in Linz, Austria. He was also keen on destroying any artwork by Jewish painters, modern artists, or anything he discerned as "degenerate." Thankfully, Francis Henry Taylor, director of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, beseeched Washington to protect Europe’s great works. President Franklin D. Roosevelt agreed and formed the Monuments, Fine Arts, and Archives program in 1943. Their goal was to recover and return art stolen by the Nazis.