In advance of George Clooney’s film The Monuments Men, hitting theaters this Friday, Feb. 7, National Geographic Channel is airing a one-hour special looking at the real-life escapades of the people actually involved in saving cultural treasures in Nazi-occupied Europe near the end of World War II. The program, called Hunting Hitler’s Stolen Treasures: The Monuments Men, is billed as a documentary companion to the feature film, and premieres Feb. 5 at 8pm ET/PT on NGC.
“Art is the soul of a society; it represents the very best things that we have achieved, and to go after that art and try to rescue it and try to save it and protect it and preserve it is this incredibly noble endeavor,” Matt Damon, who stars in The Monuments Men, explains in an interview featured in this special. Damon is one of the actors from the film offering insights during the course of the program. NGC says the special will also include sneak-preview footage from the feature film.
Hunting Hitler’s Stolen Treasures also includes never-before-published archival sources, interviews with historians and even a surviving member of the actual Monuments Men Unit shedding light on the treasure hunt that found an unlikely group of middle-aged art scholars rescuing thousands of years’ worth of European art and culture plundered by the Third Reich. According to George Clooney, the Nazis even “burnt Picassos, they burnt Salvador Dalis, they burnt Klees, they just pulled them out and burned them.”
Hunting Hitler’s Stolen Treasures: The Monuments Men premieres Feb. 5 at 8pm ET/PT on NGC.
Screengrab from National Geographic Channel