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Nov 22, 2014

Network Front | The Guardian: Saviour of France’s art: how the Mona Lisa was spirited away from the Nazis

Network Front | The Guardian
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Saviour of France's art: how the Mona Lisa was spirited away from the Nazis
Nov 22nd 2014, 16:37, by Agnès Poirier

Secret operation by Louvre staff on eve of war is revealed in new documentary on forgotten hero Jacques Jaujard

It is a French documentary that British television channels are going to fight over. And they'll have to act quickly, as Illustrious Yet Unknown (Illustre et Inconnu) has already been sold to scores of countries around the world.

Jean-Pierre Devillers and Pierre Pochart's film – which mixes archive footage with animation and is narrated by French actor Mathieu Amalric – focuses on a man the French had forgotten: Jacques Jaujard. As deputy head of the Louvre, Jaujard hid the Mona Lisa, all the Louvre's contents and France's entire public art collection just 10 days before the second world war broke out, in a masterful, highly secret operation. No one asked him to do it; he just did, helped by hundreds of loyal employees scattered across the country.

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