'Monuments Men' art being showcased in San Diego

2 paintings saved from destruction during WW2

SAN DIEGO - Two paintings that were saved from destruction during World War II are now being showcased in San Diego.

George Clooney heads an all-star cast in the upcoming release of "Monuments Men," a true story about the effort to save treasured artifacts looted by the Nazis in World War II.

"If it weren't for their efforts, these treasures would have been lost forever," said Michael Brown, who is with the San Diego Museum of Art.

The museum has two paintings saved by the Monuments Men both found in a salt mine: one by Pompeo Girolamo Batoni done in 1758, and one by Pseudo Pier Francesco Florintino done between 1485-90.  

"These men and women risked their lives to rescue these works of art, which are records of what it means to be human," Brown said.

When the museum obtained the paintings, there were pencil markings on the wood frames on the back.

"Inventory numbers the Nazis used," said Brown.

With the release of the movie, the museum is offering admission discounts if patrons show a movie ticket stub.

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