Robert M. Edsel, Founder and Chairman of the Monuments Men Foundation for the Preservation of Art
, today announced the appointment of Anna Bottinelli as President, effective immediately. Ms. Bottinelli joined the Foundation in 2014, advancing to the position of Director of Research in 2017. She was also elected a Foundation trustee later that year.
Under Ms. Bottinellis leadership, the Foundation will continue its work locating and returning works of art and other cultural treasures missing since the end of World War II to their rightful owners. It will expand its educational mission by utilizing the legacy of the Monuments Men to engage younger audiences about contemporary threats to the preservation of cultural heritage globally. The Foundation will also capitalize on its visibility to be an impartial but passionate voice on the protection of cultural treasures, and in select art restitution cases.
Mr. Edsel commented, It has been the privilege of a lifetime to build this great organization and witness many of the Monuments Men and Women honored for their service to civilization during their lifetimes. Much has been accomplished. It is now time for new leadership. Anna will bring a fresh perspective and new ideas to resonate with younger audiences and leverage the broad visibility George Clooneys 2014 film brought to these heroes. Her passion for this work, guided by a new and larger board of trustees, will ensure the Foundations ongoing success. I look forward to continuing to serve the Foundation as a trustee and spokesperson.
I am very excited about the opportunity to lead the Monuments Men Foundation into the future, said Ms. Bottinelli. With hundreds of tips on missing works of art and cultural objects, 2020 promises to be a very busy year. I also look forward to building on the Foundations relationships with leading organizations in the cultural property arena, here and abroad. We are particularly excited about our longstanding relationships with the National Archives, the Italian Carabinieri Cultural Heritage Protection Unit, and the National World War II Museum, home to the Monuments Men Foundation Collection and site of the permanent Monuments Men Gallery, currently under construction. One of my goals is to develop new programs that will capture the imaginations of young people as a way of cultivating the Monuments Men and Women of tomorrow.
Born and raised in Florence, Italy, Ms. Bottinelli received her B.A. in History of Art graduating magna cum laude from John Cabot University in Rome. In 2011, she received her M.A. in Art History at The Courtauld Institute of Art in London. Following graduation, Ms. Bottinelli served as lead Italian researcher to Mr. Edsel on his New York Times bestseller, Saving Italy: The Race to Rescue a Nations Treasures from the Nazis (2013). During her tenure at the Foundation, Ms. Bottinelli has overseen numerous restitutions of cultural objects to individuals and museums in Europe. She has also served as a consultant for Hunting Nazi Treasure, an eight-part investigative documentary series produced by Saloon Media in 2017. The program continues to air on Discoverys American Heroes Channel, History Channel-Canada, and Canale Focus in Italy, with additional future broadcasts planned internationally.