The Monuments Men is a belated tribute to genuine preservationists who were tremendously successful and are certainly deserving of this day in the Sun. Sadly, it will enbolden a rash of modern day nationalist thieves eager to "steal" the past by clamoring for strict controls and "stewardship" over everything older than their shoe laces—all in the name of "saving" the past. What was conceived in 1970 through a laudable concern over genuine cultural monuments has devolved in recent years into a fanaticism over trivia and a lust for power. [...] Each year, the list of verboten objects grows—extending even to utilitarian objects like coins. This sequestering of cultural property, which includes virtually everything ever made by mankind, is promoted by self-appointed stewards as a necessary action to preserve the past. In some theaters, that act may gain applause but it is really a modern day parallel to the very concern that gave birth to the Monuments Men of WWII. Absolute control leads to absolute tyranny. It did then and it does now.
Friday, February 7, 2014
The Meaning of Liberty
I cannot wait to see the new film, "The Monuments Men" about how American foresight saved the cultural heritage of mankind from destruction in Europe by the Dark Forces that opposed Liberty. As Executive Director Sayles succinctly puts it: