White House screens The Monuments Men

McClatchy Washington BureauFebruary 18, 2014 

The White House Tuesday night hosted a screening of the movie, The Monuments Men, a movie that looks at a small band of middle-aged art experts, artists, educators and architects who signed up during World War II to join President Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s program to protect and secure European art treasures.

Among the attendees: stars George Clooney and Matt Damon.

The White House says the cast and crew were invited, along with officials from the State Department's Cultural Heritage Center -- "our country's modern day monuments men and women."

In addition, the White House curators, members of the Jewish community, and the director of the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum was to attend.

The White House called cultural heritage preservation a vital tool of foreign policy and said State's department of cultural heritage "has been a leader in global preservation for cultural heritage sites and objects" for 30 years.

In addition to Clooney and Damon, the guest list per the White House included Nick and Nina Clooney; Bill Murray, Grant Heslov; Robert Edsel, writer of the book, The Monuments Men; Harry Ettlinger, a member of the original Monument Men group; Bill Burns, Deputy Secretary of State; Heather Higginbottom, Deputy Secretary of State; David Wade, State Department Chief of Staff; Richard Stengel, Under Secretary of State for Public Affairs;Evan Ryan, Assistant Secretary of State for Educational and Cultural Affairs; Bill McHugh, Secretary of the Army; Sara Bloomfield, Director the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum; Rabbi Jack Moline, Agudas Achim Congregation; Susan Hildreth, Director of the Institute of Museum and Library Services and David Ferriero, Archivist of the United States.

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