Over 800 attend People of the Book event

13 Mar

From left: Howard Tevlowitz, Federation Executive Director; Ina Schnell, Chair of People of the Book; Robert Edsel, Speaker and Author of The Monuments Men; Steven High, Executive Director of The Ringling. Photo by Sally Ullman Photography.

It was a great evening at The Jewish Federation of Sarasota-Manatee’s People of the Book event with Robert Edsel, the author of The Monuments Men. An audience of over 800 had the opportunity to hear Edsel speak about the brave, middle-aged men who risked their lives in WWII to save the art of Europe from the Nazis.

Robert Edsel, on a trip to Florence, Italy, wondered why so many art treasures had not been destroyed during the war. He had just sold his business and had the time and interest to investigate. His investigations took him to northern Europe. His most recent book is about the art in Italy and what happened to it.

Recognition for the work of the Monuments Men by the President of the United States for their valor and the importance of their mission occurred in 2007 through the efforts of Robert Edsel. Few people, however, knew the story until Edsel’s book was published in 2009 and the movie was recently released.

The response to People of the Book has been most gratifying. Audience members were pleased to have the opportunity to hear the story and meet the author who has formed a foundation to continue to pursue the return of artworks to their rightful owners, a most difficult task. As I left the auditorium, there was a long line forming to speak with Robert Edsel and have him sign books.

Many thanks to Federation for the opportunity to hear this fascinating story that provides a greater understanding of the importance of saving a civilization’s cultural heritage. The event served to thank donors of $36; we are incredibly grateful for their continued support of our efforts.  Special thanks to our partners and sponsors The Ringling, Sarasota Magazine, The Observer Group and BookStore One Sarasota.

Ina Schnell is the Chair of the People of the Book event.

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One Response to “Over 800 attend People of the Book event”

  1. Judith Abrams March 20, 2014 at 3:06 pm #

    please send me information about this event next year. judyepabrams@aol,com

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