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In 1943, Nazi Germany controlled most of Western Europe and the Allies were preparing for the invasion of Italy and France. Urged by American scholars to spearhead an international effort to save and preserve Europe’s cultural treasures, President Franklin D. Roosevelt established a civilian commission to promote the formation of a Monuments, Fine Arts and Archives (MFAA) section of the military. For the first time in history, soldiers whose job it was to protect cultural heritage during wartime were dispatched to Europe. Known as the Monuments Men, these art world professionals included artists, architects, historians, museum directors, curators, and others. Among them was Deane Keller, a painter and professor of art at Yale University.
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