Robert Edsel, a former nationally ranked tennis player and pioneering oilman, is recognized today as one of the world’s foremost advocates for art preservation. While living in Florence, he developed a great passion for art and architecture and became curious as to how so many of the monuments and great works of art survived the thefts and devastation of World War II. What began as a question evolved into an impassioned journey to unravel the secrets and heroics of the Monuments Men, the unsung heroes who saved the world’s greatest art and cultural treasures for the benefit of civilization.
Edsel has dedicated the last ten years of his life to the meticulous research of these cultural heroes, which culminated in Edsel’s New York Times best-selling book, The Monuments Men: Allied Heroes, Nazi Thieves and the Greatest Treasure Hunt in History. George Clooney wrote, directed and stars in the film adaptation of The Monuments Men, which hit theaters to rave reviews in February 2014.