Monuments Men Foundation to close

Julie Wiener

(JTA) — A foundation established to honor the hundreds of “Monuments Men,” who saved more than five million works of art stolen by the Nazis is closing for financial reasons.

The Dallas-based Monuments Men Foundation for the Preservation of Art announced Tuesday it will cease operations at the end of October due to a lack of funds, The Associated Press reported.

Robert Edsel, whose 2009 book about the Monuments Men was made into a 2014 movie starring George Clooney, established the foundation in 2007.

READ: ‘Monuments Men’ recalls Allied effort to save Europe’s heritage

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The foundation has spent more than $7 million but raised only $3.5 million, Edsel told the Dallas Morning News, saying he made up for the deficit with his own money.

“Our commitment was to make sure they were honored, make sure their legacy was preserved, and that the world knew not only what they’ve done but also what was possible, in regards to the protection of cultural treasures,” Edsel said. “We’ve certainly done that.”

The Monuments Men are scheduled to be honored Thursday afternoon in Washington with a Congressional Gold Medal, in a ceremony to include four of the surviving treasure hunters.

Harry Ettlinger, a member of the Monuments Men whose Jewish family fled Germany in 1983, is scheduled to speak at the ceremony.

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