Curators at New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art are developing their own little brigade of “Monument Men” as that train military officers to preserve Ukrainian artwork from the ravishes of war.
“The weaponization of art history,” Alison Hokanson, associate curator of European paintings, told them, “is the weaponization of objects but also the weaponization of the stories that are told through these objects.”
Following in the footsteps of the Staten Island-based 353rd Civil Affairs Command, which deployed officers with arts training to protect European treasures that were being looted by the Nazis during World War II, the Met’s program is aimed at members of the U.S. Air Force who will be helping to identify and evaluate Ukrainian works.
The project was implements in response to Russia’s illegal invasion of Ukraine and its efforts to erradicate the former Soviet republic’s national identity by destroying its cultural heritage.
According to specialists at the museum, numerous works by Ukrainian artists have been willfully mislabeled as Russian.