The Berlin Film Festival announced Friday that “The Monuments Men,” George Clooney’s upcoming World War II movie about the search for and recovery of Nazi-looted art, has been added to its lineup.
The announcement comes shortly after the revelation that more than 1,400 artworks – by Picasso, Renoir, Toulouse-Lautrec and others -- were found in a Munich, Germany, apartment and are believed to include looted items as well as art the Nazis called “degenerate” that was removed from German museums.
“The Monuments Men” – which Clooney co-wrote, stars in and shot in Germany -- has been getting added attention over the last week.
“Over 5 million cultural assets stolen by the Nazis were returned to their countries of origin in the years following World War II. As the recent discovery in Munich demonstrates, the art theft of that time is as current as ever," Dieter Kosslick, director of the Berlin Film Festival, said in a statement. "'The Monuments Men’ finally gives this little-known subject a worldwide audience.”
The recovered artworks were found in the apartment of Cornelius Gurlitt, the son of Nazi-era art dealer Hildebrand Gurlitt. The art is now being held in a storage area near Munich, officials have said. Documenting the works, and tracking down their owners, could take many years.
The “Monuments” film is based Robert Edsel’s 2009 book of the same name. The Berlin Film Festival starts Feb. 6. The film is scheduled to be released in the U.S. later in February.