The Rape of Europa, a two-hour documentary whose featured experts include Jonathan Petropoulos, the John V. Croul Professor of European History and director of The Center for the Study of The Holocaust, Genocide, and Human Rights, is one of 15 films to advance in the voting process for the 80th Annual Academy Awards. Documentary Branch Academy members will select the five final nominees from among the 15 titles on the shortlist and make those selections public in January. Seventy films were considered.
Europa tells the story of the "systematic theft, deliberate destruction, and miraculous survival of Europe's art treasures during the Third Reich and the Second World War," juxtaposed with the story of artist Gustav Klimt's famed Gold Portrait, also known as the Golden Adelethe gold-flecked portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer I. The painting was confiscated in 1938 and is now, according to Europa's filmmakers, the most expensive painting ever sold.
Petropoulos is among a handful of experts appearing in the film. (Read full story about the film and his role: http://www.claremontmckenna.edu/news/pressreleases/article.asp?article_id=904).
According to Petropoulos, perhaps hundreds of looted but never restituted Old Masters currently hang on the walls of North American and European museums.
The 80th Academy Awards nominations will be announced on Tuesday, Jan. 22.