Monument menThis is one of the real stories about monument men in Italy during WW2.
Starting in 1940 Pasquale Rotondi, a superintendent of the Artistic and Historic Heritage in Ancona and then in the whole Le Marche region, saved about 10,000 masterpieces from the bombings and prevented their transportation to Germany at the hands of the Offices for Artistic Protection set up by the Nazi SS in Italy. He drew up a list of the most important masterpieces that needed to be rescued and protected (the Rotondi List) and, by packing the artpieces in coarse wooden boxes stamped with the Vatican emblem, he succeeded transporting them to a safe place.
The amazing Rocca di Sassocorvaro and the Palazzo dei Principi in Carpegna, in Northern Le Marche, were the hideaways that Pasquale Rotondi, one of the real monument men, found for important works by Lotto, Titian, Piero della Francesca, Rubens, Raphael, Mantegna, Tiepolo, Tintoretto and Canaletto among others, Rossini original scores and thousands of documents and objects.
His story is beautifully told in this video (sorry in Italian only).
The “legend” says that some Nazi soldiers discovered some of the boxes containing all sort of precious artpieces, but luckily they opened the one that contained some original scores by Rossini and considered it useless papers so did not open the other boxes.