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How The Real 'Monuments Men' Did Their Job04:10
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This 1945 handout photo provided by the Smithsonian Institution shows the rescuing of Michelangelo’s Madonna and Child in Altaussee, Austria. Photographs, maps and records from the real corps of soldiers known as “Monuments Men” who were tasked with protecting European cultural sites and recovering looted art during World War II are going on display in Washington, many for the first time. (Smithsonian Institution via AP)
This 1945 handout photo provided by the Smithsonian Institution shows the rescuing of Michelangelo’s Madonna and Child in Altaussee, Austria. Photographs, maps and records from the real corps of soldiers known as “Monuments Men” who were tasked with protecting European cultural sites and recovering looted art during World War II are going on display in Washington, many for the first time. (Smithsonian Institution via AP)
This article is more than 6 years old.

The film "The Monuments Men" opens in theaters today. It tells the story of a special unit of art experts formed to save masterpieces that were stolen by the Nazis during World War II. George Clooney leads an all-star cast.

But what about the real Monuments Men? An exhibition of their personal papers, photos, maps and memoirs is now on display at the Archives of American Art in Washington. The BBC's Jane O'Brien paid a visit and brings us this report.

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  • Jane O'Brien, Washington correspondent for BBC News. She tweets @trowynt.

This segment aired on February 7, 2014.

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