Campus News

Dinner with Robert Edsel

Robert Edsel, as well as speaking and having dinner with University students
and faculty, signed books, posters, and took pictures.

Robert Edsel was watched intently by the small group of people who sat at the white linen table to dine with him. But dinner was barely touched because we were so immersed in the conversation about his thoughts, books, The Monuments Men film, and some of his general observations on recovering art—all in the span of an hour and a half.

Edsel discussed the hundreds of hours he spent researching for his three books, Rescuing Da Vinci, The Monuments Men: Allied Heroes—Nazi Thieves and the Greatest Treasure Hunt in History, and Saving Italy: The Race to Rescue a Nation’s Treasures from the Nazis. He said he was devoted to reading his sources and giving them the due credit they deserved. Each source attributed small bits of information that could hardly be simplified, but Edsel talked about his mission to bring awareness to the heroes with the nickname, Monuments Men.

He discussed that his mission to bring about awareness is a never-ending mission, but he feels happy with the success of the 2014 film, The Monuments Men. He says that with the talents and passions of so many actors, people worldwide are for the first time learning and understanding the impact the Monuments Men had. He explains that recovering art takes time, and that art is always coming to surface from all types of people who were affiliated with World War II. Art was shown to him in different perspectives by an instructor, and he says that is where his passion for art started. His years of study and research of art and art recovery made his passion grow, and now he is proud of the work that he and the team at the Monuments Men Foundation for the Preservation of Art strives for every day.

The dinner was fulfilling, and left us pushing away from our tables with smiles on our faces. As Edsel was signing books outside the SCC Boardrooms, the other dinner attendees were eager to continue discussing the ideas and thought of Edsel, grateful for 90 minutes of his company.

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