Unusual: Chambord, a depository of artwork during the Second World War

We all know of the story of Chambord under Francis I, but many people are unaware of the patriotic role played by the château in the 20th century. Thanks to Chambord, the country was able to save many great works of French heritage during the Second World War.
Chambord played a key role in preserving French masterpieces during the Second World War, because the château was chosen as the main repository and processing centre for national treasures. Fearing German attacks and pillaging, the main Paris museums organised an evacuation and conservation plan, and so, on 28th August 1939, the greatest convoy of paintings in history made its way to Chambord.
The château received 5,446 cases, some of which contained collections from the Louvre, most notably the Mona Lisa, which was later sent to Louvigny. The château was closed to the public when war was declared, and curators and custodians stood guard over the stockpiled artwork to ensure they were not damaged by mites or damp. The château was hit by an American bomber plane as it crashed and a fire during the war, but the artworks were all spared. At the end of the war and following the return of the paintings, the château was renovated and in 1981 was listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site.
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