The Monuments Men

In Theaters February 7

Education Site

The Monuments Men is based on the true story of a group of brave men and women who hunted down and rescued millions of cultural treasures stolen by the Nazis at the close of World War II. Our lesson plans, discussion questions, maps, and other features can engage learners about this little-known chapter in World War II and guide thinking about the importance of protecting cultural heritage in times of war.  The lessons are suitable for middle and high school classrooms and are linked to Common Core State Standards.

Background Information


The Monuments Men

The Monuments Men were a group of men and women from 13 nations, most of whom volunteered for service in the newly-created Monuments, Fine Arts, and Archives section, or MFAA, during World War II. Most had expertise as museum directors, curators, art scholars and educators, artists, architects, and archivists. Their job description was simple: to save as much of the culture of Europe as they could during combat. These Monuments Men not only had the vision to understand the grave threat to the greatest cultural and artistic achievements of civilization, but then joined the front lines to do something about it.

Although their task was large, their numbers were not. Approximately 345 individuals worked to protect monuments and other cultural treasures from the destruction of World War II. In the last year of the war, they tracked and located more than five million artistic and cultural items stolen by Hitler and the Nazis. In the years that followed, they returned these to their rightful owners. Their role in preserving cultural treasures was without precedent.

Lesson Plans


Interactive Map

The Monuments Men in Pursuit of Stolen Masterpieces

Follow the path of two priceless pieces of art looted by the Nazis and trace the routes of two Monuments Men determined to track them down.


Debate and Discussion Questions for Groups

Discuss topics raised by both the book and the film, The Monuments Men.

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Visit Your

Local museum to see Monuments Men exhibitions and works of art associated with the Monuments Men story.

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Become A


Man or Woman

Enrich learning and honor the heroic efforts of the Monuments Men by participating in a national conversation about our country’s cultural treasures.

Submit your Local Treasure Learn More About the Monuments Men
  • Source:
    Archives des Musées
    Nationaux, France

  • Source:
    Men Foundation

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