George Clooney, Matt Damon and the cast of “Monuments Men” are currently in Italy to promote the film, scheduled to be released on February 13.
In Milan yesterday, the first stop on the actors’ busy schedule was at the refectory of the Convent of Santa Maria delle Grazie, where the stars, including Bill Murray, John Goodman and Jean Dujardin, posed in front of Leonardo’s Last Supper, the work of art that appears in the opening scene of the movie directed by Clooney.
Based on real life events, "The Monuments Men" tells the story of a crew of art experts as they recovered works of Italian and European art stolen by the Nazis in World War II before Adolf Hitler could destroy them.
“When I found myself in front of the Last Supper, I felt all its power,” Damon said. “The sense of the film lies in this dilemma: is it worth putting lives at risk to save our cultural and artistic heritage? Watching Leonardo’s painting, I understood better the power of that question.”
"Hitler not only stole art, but he also wanted to destroy it; he not only wanted to kill people, but he also wanted to erase their culture," Clooney said later during the press conference to present the film. “Art must be protected at all costs because it represents our history.”
Photos are not normally allowed inside the refectory, but the cast was able to obtain a special permit.
The Milan tour ended at Pioltello, just outside the city, for the Italian movie premiere, which was preceded by the red carpet for the joy of the many fans who had been waiting for hours to see the stars arrive.
The actors are staying at Clooney’s Villa Oleandra on Lake Como.
Clooney, Damon and Dujardin were also invited Sunday night on a popular Rai TV program, Che tempo che fa, conducted by Fabio Fazio, who, incidentally, will present the upcoming Festival of Sanremo.