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Two Free Screenings of The Rape of Europa

For Immediate Release

February 11, 2010

The Rape of Europa (2006, 117 minutes), a film based on the book by Lynn Nicholas, tells the epic story of the systematic theft, deliberate destruction, and miraculous survival of Europe’s art treasures during the Third Reich and the Second World War. Joan Allen narrates this breathtaking chronicle about the battle over the very survival of centuries of western culture. The film will be shown on Sunday, February 28 at 12:30 pm, and Wednesday, March 3 at 1 pm at the Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute. Admission is free.

In a journey through seven countries, The Rape of Europa takes the audience into the violent whirlwind of fanaticism, greed, and warfare that threatened to wipe out the artistic heritage of Europe. For twelve long years, the Nazis looted and destroyed art on a scale unprecedented in history. But young art professionals as well as ordinary heroes, from truck drivers to department store clerks, fought back with an extraordinary effort to safeguard, rescue and return the millions of lost, hidden, and stolen treasures. The Rape of Europa begins and ends with the story of artist Gustav Klimt’s famed Gold Portrait, stolen from Viennese Jews in 1938 and now the most expensive painting ever sold. Today, more than sixty years later, the legacy of this tragic history continues to play out as families of looted collectors recover major works of art, conservators repair battle damage, and nations fight over the fate of ill-gotten spoils of war.

The Clark is located at 225 South Street in Williamstown, Massachusetts. The galleries are open Tuesday through Sunday, 10 am to 5 pm (daily in July and August). Admission is free November through May. Admission is $15 June 1 through October 31. Admission is free for children 18 and younger, members, and students with valid ID. For more information, call 413-458-2303 or visit clarkart.edu.


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