TIL that when nazis invaded Greece, the staff of the Archaeological Museum in Athens buried all statues and artifacts in concrete fortified trenches stretching from the basement. The nazis found an empty museum. No one gave away the secret.

Read more: https://pappaspost.com/april-28-1941-nazis-find-empty-archaeological-museum-athens/

What do you think?

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  1. My favorite such example is how [George de Hevesy](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/George_de_Hevesy) hid the nobel prizes of Max von Laue and James Franck:

    > Prior to the onset of World War II, [Max von Laue](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Max_von_Laue) and [James Franck](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/James_Franck) had sent their gold Nobel Prizes to Denmark to keep them from being confiscated by the Nazis. After the Nazi invasion of Denmark this placed them in danger; it was illegal at the time to send gold out of Germany, and were it discovered that Laue and Franck had done so, they could have faced prosecution. To prevent this, de Hevesy concealed the medals by dissolving them with [aqua regia](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aqua_regia) and placed the resulting solution on a shelf in his laboratory at the Niels Bohr Institute. After the war, he returned to find the solution undisturbed and precipitated the gold out of the acid. The Nobel Society then recast the Nobel Prizes using the original gold.

  2. The Dutch museum hid ‘The Night Watch’ in a similar way in bunkers in the dunes. However, the germans were completely aware, went to take pictures with the rolled up canvas. It was convenient to have it safely away from the city as well…

  3. One of my favorite historical facts is how [The Louvre was evacuated in the days leading up to the German invasion of Paris. ](https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Evacuation_of_the_Louvre_museum_art_collection_during_World_War_II) Under the guise of “repairs”, the staff transported 1862 art pieces in ~~unmarked~~ (edit: they were marked with symbols signifying their importance! thanks u/bocaj78) crates in 203 trucks. The pieces were transported from chateau to chateau through the duration of Paris’s German occupation, and none (as far as I’m aware) were ever discovered by Nazis.

  4. I’ve been learning a lot about the Antikythera Mechanism recently, which was salvaged from an Ancient Greek ship wreck in 1901, and currently resides in the museum at Athens, so I’m assuming that there’s a high probability that it was also hidden.
    We’ve learned a ton about it in the past couple of decades due to computerized imaging of the internal parts, and it’s tragic to think that there was a possibility of it being plundered or destroyed by fucking nazis. Good job to whoever hid these artifacts.

    To those who’ve never heard of it – the Antikythera Mechanism is a 2000+ year old mechanical computer consisting of dozens of finely cut gears and other ingenious mechanisms for calculating the positions of the sun, moon, and planets, as well as a mechanical calendar. The gear ratios indicate a complex understanding of astronomy and are basically equations in metal form. The workmanship indicates that this was not a one-off device, but rather the only surviving evidence of an ancient tradition of engineering excellence in the ancient world.


  5. You’re in Russia and more than a million works of art

    Are whisked out to the woods

    When the Nazis find the whole place dark

    They’ll think God’s left the museum for good

  6. When Napoleon invaded Malta the altar rails were made of solid gold. The Maltese hid them by simply painting them black. The French did not realise they were made of gold and left them in place where they still are today.

  7. Reminds me a bit of the Tragically Hip song ‘Scared’.

    “You’re in Russia and more than a million works of art
    Are whisked out to the woods
    When the Nazis find the whole place dark
    They’ll think God’s left the museum for good”

  8. Damn catburglars, always conveniently getting to all this art and gold before the nazis could take it by force. Weird how these so skilled burglars that have never been seen heard, or left a trace haven’t started stealing stuff till now though.

  9. After WW2, the Republic of China (now aka Taiwan) fled with hundreds of thousands of artifacts and treasures from the Chinese Communist Party’s army.

    The Chinese argue that it is a theft of national treasures, while the Taiwanese say that they protected them from destruction in the Cultural Revolution.

    In any case, the are now on display to the public at the National Palace Museum in Taiwan.

  10. Reminds me of the story of the first Spinosaurus skeleton that was destroyed because the archeologist that discovered it was *enough* of a Nazi.

    They found the skeleton and put it on display in Berlin during the war. The archeologist who found it wanted the skeleton to be moved in case Allied forces broke through and bombed the city. The museum owners said that there was no way they would lose the war so they weren’t going to move it for that reason. The museum was later bomber by British forces and the specimen was lost.

  11. You’re in Russia and more than a million works of art

    Are whisked out to the woods

    When the Nazis find the whole place dark

    They’ll think God’s left the museum for good


    Scared – by The Tragically Hip

  12. A team of American and British museum directors, curators, art historians, and others, called the [Monuments Men](https://www.smithsonianmag.com/history/true-story-monuments-men-180949569/) risked their lives scouring Europe to prevent the theft and also the destruction of tens of thousands of pieces of art across Europe by the Nazis. Several were killed in the process.

    I find the selflessness, altruism and sacrifice of the men involved, who saved the art of countries that were not their own, extremely humbling.

    *”Without the [Monuments Men], a lot of the most important treasures of European culture would be lost.”* Art scholar, Lynn H. Nicholas, who spent a decade researching her 1995 book, ‘The Rape of Europa’, which led to further interest and culminated in the movie, ‘The Monuments Men’, based upon Robert Edsel’s 2009 book of the same name.

  13. I like to think that a bunch of drunk old Greeks were like “eh, these things were buried for 3000 years, what’s another few.” If this sounds derogatory please know I am a drunk younger Greek and hold drunk old Greeks in high esteem.

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