Le Front de l’art, défense des collections françaises, 1939-1945
A cartoon strip was dedicated to her just a few years ago, by Catel Muller and Emmanuelle Pollack, proving she did indeed have the makings of a heroine. The movie, Monuments Men, where she is interpreted by Cate Blanchett, has just made her world famous. What coincidences occurred, needed to give her this recognition? For the intervention of Rose Valland (1898-1980), a curator at the musée du Jeu de paume during the German Occupation, had been known for a long time. Janet Flanner, the correspondant of the New Yorker, mentions her in her vast report of February – March 1947 on the men and women who moved to counter the plundering of art by the Nazis. And she was also well exposed in 1964, with her role played by actress Suzanne Flon in a succesful movie by John Frankenheimer, The Train. She herself had written a detailed report on her commitment, first in Paris then in Germany, at Lindau or Baden-Baden. This Front de l’art, published in 1961 with 4000 copies, had been finished off by Plon in 1966, when Rose Valland saved 500 copies by buying them herself with her savings, at 3 francs a piece. This same book, never to be found since, has now been published again, with detailed commentaries and an indispensable index. It is as fascinating as a novel and is the priceless complement to George Clooney’s movie.
Review published in the newsletter #340 - from 3 April 2014 to 9 April 2014