Monuments Men – Olympics – International Treasures


I can’t imagine living in a world without art. To gaze at fine art is to transport the imagination into another time. What was Leonardo da Vinci’s, Mona Lisa thinking? The performing arts also opens a buffet of thoughts and feeling within me as I watch or listen to a story unfolding by actors, singers or dancers.

“The purpose of art is washing the dust of daily life off our souls.” (Pablo Picasso)

Like most, I appreciate the value of art but not as much as the heroic men who were portrayed in the movie, “The Monuments Men.” These men were mostly middle-aged family men from different nations, educated in the field of art, who put their lives in the middle of Hitler’s devastating war to find art and preserve it. Ironically, it was the bravery and the wit of a woman who was the key to “The Monuments Men” finding most of these treasures.

“The Monuments Men” was tastefully directed by George Clooney, in a way that was reminiscent of the classic movies of the 1940’s. The terror of the Holocaust was present but in a thought-provoking and subtle way. The music added a nostalgic mood to the light and dark moments while the characters came to life by the acting of a skillful ensemble cast led by George Clooney, Matt Damon, Cate Blanchett, Bill Murray, John Goodman and Jean Dujardin, a French actor who received notoriety for “The Artist.”

As I watched the movie, I had a moment of bittersweet reflection as I thought of my dad who had passed away. When I was growing up, my dad and his brothers represented a different kind of ‘Monument Men.’ Their father was a sculptor and they sold tomb stones to mark the graves in Catholic cemeteries. The monument stones were usually sculpted with flowers, Jesus, his mother or a bible quote; a way a family could pay respects to their beloved and family heritage, a treasure.

“To live in hearts we leave behind is not to die.” (Thomas Campbell)

“Love never dies…” (1 Corinthians 8)


Powerful Performances & Olympic Treasures

olympic-gold-medalistsTonight, the Olympics is coming to a close. I’ve enjoyed the international display of sports and artistry in motion, especially the ice skating and ice dancing. I beg to differ with those who say that this is not a sport. Jumping and twirling on solid ground is difficult enough but doing it on the ice, now that takes courage and skill!olympics-davis-white

 Definition of sport: “an activity involving physical exertion and skill in which an individual or team competes against another or others for entertainment.”

 I admire the dedication it takes to be the best in all the Olympic disciplines. Just take a look at the pictures of Olympian Gold Medalists, Meryl Davis and Charlie White of the United States and you’ll see a combination of strength, flexibility, grace, precision and excellence. They began ice dancing at age eight and nine years old with their moms cheering them throughout their journey.


We cheer the Olympic spirit! We cheer our teams! Teamwork is so important…

“Teamwork is the ability to work together toward a common vision. The ability to direct individual accomplishment toward organizational objectives. It is the fuel that allows common people to attain uncommon results.” (Andrew Carnegie)

“I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race.” (2 Timothy 4:6-8)

Wishing you treasures of the heart,

Maria Lauren (aka) Maria Elena Alberici – Riccio

Your Powerful LIFE blog


Beyond-Our-Wildest-Dreams-bookMy sister and I, Alberici Sisters, are a singing team that started entertaining audiences at age eight and nine. As young women we entered the 70’s singing and dancing group The Golddiggers, regulars on the “Dean Martin Comedy Hour.” Our journey took us to performances in front of royalty and in the company of great entertainers including the real Rat Pack. We wrote a book about it. Next, the movie! Wouldn’t George Clooney make a good Dean Martin? 😉

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Maria-Lauren-MotivationThis is a personal blog, produced in my own time and solely reflecting my personal opinions. Statements on this site do not represent the views or policies of my employer, past or present, or any other organization with which I may be affiliated. All content is copyrighted.

2 thoughts on “Monuments Men – Olympics – International Treasures

    • Right on, Don! Critics are paid to be critical! I agree with you; it was a welcomed pleasure to get off today’s movie roller-coaster ride and take time to appreciate the art of simply telling the story.

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