THE RAPE OF EUROPA
Thursday 27 September - MPM Auditorium - 8pm
Based on the book of the same title by Lynn H. Nicholas, The Rape of Europa begins and ends with the complex story of Gustav Klimt&rsquo";“s great portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer, stolen from the sitter&rsquo”;“s Jewish family in 1938 and for many years displayed in the Belvedere Gallery in Vienna. Klimt&rsquo”;“s portrait was just one among the hundreds of thousands of works of art and objects stolen by the Nazis during the Third Reich and World War II. Works of art have always been the subject of looting and theft during times of war. However, as this documentary explains, the scale of illegal appropriation and its meticulous bureaucratic organisation by Hitler&rsquo”;“s regime was unprecedented. The result was the loss of a large number of European works of art, many of them destroyed, while others came into the possession of governments and museums in Europe and America. The rightful owners of these works are now demanding their return. The documentary reveals the magnitude of these events through the case histories of various masterpieces. They include the Mona Lisa, hidden by a family in the south of France”;" the theft of The Lady with the Ermine, also by Leonardo";" the destruction of the Camposanto in Pisa and the disappearance of Raphael&rsquo";"s Portrait of a Young Man, the latter still lost. The documentary provides interviews with eyewitnesses and historians and draws on contemporary documentary sources. The result is a fresh and innovative perspective on these tragic wartime events. The film was written, directed and produced by Richard Berge, Nicole Newnham and Bonni Cohen. It lasts two hours and is in English with Spanish subtitles.