After the Allied landing, concern arose the fate of the cultural heritage involved in the conflict. Some safe sites had already been identified for some time, including the Abbey of Montecassino, where the works of art were saved. On October 14, 1943, two German officers from the Hermann Göring division - Lieutenant Colonel Schlegel and medical captain Becker - presented themselves to Abbot Diamare with the order to transfer the cultural heritage to Rome.



14 October 1943 - 7 August 1947


Continuano i bombardamenti su Cassino e nei pressi dell’Abbazia. Gli Alleati avanzano con grande difficoltà...


Il sistema difensivo denominato “Linea Gustav” si basava sulla barriera naturale che attraversava l’Italia meridionale da est ad ovest e che aveva sul fiume Garigliano e su Monte Cassino i suoi capisaldi...


Salvataggio opere d'arte

D1: K.J. Conant, Ipotesi di ricostruzione dell’interno della chiesa abbaziale di Montecassino durante gli anni di Desiderio (da H. Bloch, Monte Cassino in the Middle Ages, Roma 1986, III)

D2: Frammento di pavimento con motivo a quinconce

D3: Frammenti di pavimento con cane (veltro)

D4: Frammenti di pavimento con motivi geometrici

Monte Cassino





THE VALUABLES KEPT IN MONTECASSINO (from B. Gentile – F. Bianchini, I Misteri dell’Abbazia, le verità sul tesoro di Montecassino, Florence 2014)

Relics from the Keats and Shelley Museum in Rome

Note: the most precious objects were sent to Montecassino on December 16th 1942 in two small boxes. Among the most significant objects were the first two editions of Keats works: Endymion of 1818 and Lamia of 1820, letters written by the two poets, from Byron and others. They returned to their legitimate owners in 1944

The Treasure of San Gennaro

Note: three cases containing the pieces of jewellery dedicated to the Saint, including a solid gold collar enriched with precious stones, brooches and crosses donated by almost all the European dynasties and precious silverware. Prince Stefano Colonna di Paliano recovered them in March 1947.

The Medals of Syracuse

Note: The medal collection included specimens of absolute rarity and importance including the silver Decadramma with the profile of Arethusa and the coin of Queen Philistis. The Medals left Syracuse packed in five boxes that also contained other precious objects including ancient wooden statuettes and the museum’s gold. They first arrived in Rome where they were admitted to the Borghese Gallery and then they were transferred to Montecassino on 3 July 1943.

Coffers of the Prince of Piedmont (the future Umberto II of Savoy, last king of Italy)

Treasures of Naples

Note: Montecassino housed works sent by many Italian museums for the Triennale d’Oltremare Exhibition in Naples, works of art and precious objects from the Museums of Naples, precious objects and discoveries from the National Archaeological Museum including the Pompeian and Herculaneum collections, and paintings from the Pinacoteca Nazionale di Capodimonte  

The works found in the Altausee Mine include:

– Tiziano Vecellio : Lavinia

– Tiziano Vecellio : Danae

– Pieter Bruegel: The Blind Leading the Blind

– Parmigianino: Portrait of a woman

– Raffaello Sanzio: Holy Family

– Giambattista Tiepolo: Neptune and Venice

– Sebastiano del Piombo: Holy Family

– Bernardino Luini: Madonna and Child