365 Days of Art: September 30 – Nazis Set Fire to Villa, Destroying Paintings, Glass Collection, and Documents

Exterior of Villa Montesano, with decorative architectural trim and outdoor terrace.
Reconstructed Villa Montesano as it appears today.

September 30, 1943

Nazi soldiers set fire to a villa outside of Naples, which temporarily houses the contents of the Filangieri Museum and State Archives of Naples. In addition to 85,978 historical documents, the fire destroys 44 paintings by Van Eyck, Boticelli, Chardin, and Pontormo, as well as a priceless collection of ceramic, glass, and enamel.

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