• CMTU History

Episode 24: Saving Mona Lisa

Four times a year, as a thank you for their support, I am handing over the programming reins to patrons of the show on Patreon where they can vote on who should come on the podcast. Well I put out the call to the show's supporters this summer and they selected today's guest, Gerri Chanel, and her book, Saving Mona Lisa: The Battle to Protect the Louvre and Its Treasures from the Nazis, to be featured on the show.

Gerri is a prize-winning freelance journalist who spent years in Paris researching the tale of how a band of brave museum curators painstakingly evacuated the world's largest art museum ahead of the German Blitzkrieg and then kept Europe's most prized artwork, including the Mona Lisa, out of the hands of Hitler and the Nazis. Gerri joins me from New York via Skype to discuss her book, "Saving Mona Lisa."

Key Points in Today's Podcast

Some of the major topics I discuss with Gerri in this episode are:

  • The history of the Louvre Museum and its relationship to war

  • The plans drawn up by the Louvre staff in the aftermath of World War I to evacuate the museum in the event of another war with Germany

  • How the German occupation of France changed the curators' plans

  • How Jacque Jaujard deflected the Nazis interest in the Louvre's art

For the Ever Curious

If you are interested in learning more about Gerri Chanel or the Louvre, consider checking out these resources:


© 2018 by Can't Make This Up History Podcast.

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