Granger’s Monuments Men bill passes House vote

Granger’s Monuments Men bill passes House vote

Credit: Getty Images

WASHINGTON - JANUARY 22: (L-R) Deputy Secretary of State for Resources Jacob Lew, Baden-Wuerttemberg Minister of the Interior Heribert Rech, Monuments Men Foundation for the Preservation of Art founder Robert Edsel, German Ambassador to the United States Klaus Scharioth and American World War II veteran John Pistone participate in a ceremony to repatriate two Nazi-era books to Germany during a ceremony at the State Department January 22, 2010 in Washington, DC. Pistone returned the Gemaldegalerie Linz Album XIII, which he brought home from Germany at the end of the war and kept for 65 years. The album is one of 31 that contained exquisite photographs of the items selected by Adolf Hitler to be included in the 'Fuhrermuseum,' an unrealized museum complex for his hometown, the Austrian city of Linz. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

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by MARIA RECIO

Star-Telegram Washington Bureau

Posted on May 20, 2014 at 1:52 PM

Updated Tuesday, May 20 at 3:29 PM

WASHINGTON — The House voted overwhelmingly Monday in favor of a bill sponsored by Rep. Kay Granger, R-Fort Worth, to grant a Congressional Gold Medal in honor of the Monuments Men, the World War II corps of art experts who rescued over 5 million pieces of art from the Nazis.

The House voted on a voice vote under a suspension of the rules, which requires that two-thirds of the chamber be in favor of it. Although there were only a handful of members in the chamber during the debate, Granger’s bill had solid support – it has 297 co-sponsors. There was no audible opposition.

The Congressional Gold Medal is one of the nation’s highest civilian awards, along with the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

Lawmakers were motivated by greater awareness of the story of the World War II art rescuers after the Monuments Men movie, based on Dallas author Robert Edsel’s book, was released this year. But they also moved quickly out of a sense of urgency: Only six Monuments Men are still alive – five men and a woman – out of more than 300. And the upcoming Memorial Day added impetus to the timing.

News 8 featured Edsel in a story this past February, when the film was released.

Read more about this story from our content partners at the Star-Telegram at this link.

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