Grab That Leonardo!

One of the most difficult challenges facing doomsday planners was deciding what cultural treasures should be saved. In 1950 the National Gallery of Art began construction of a $550,000 facility on the grounds of Randolph-Macon Woman's College in Lynchburg, Va., as a safe haven for works of art. Funded by a private trust, the windowless structure had storage areas for sculptures and screened partitions to protect paintings. Nearby was a three-bedroom cottage, fully furnished and complete with china, silverware and napkins -- ready for the curator to move in and oversee the collection. Several former gallery executives recall that for years...

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