At the beginning of the Great War, Alsace was part of the German Empire. In August 1914, the French army occupied a part of the Upper Alsace, where a great number of listed historic buildings were located. The protection of these buildings became a significant national challenge and, at the same time, was the occasion for promoting the War. Both the French and Germans started to take measures for protection, evacuation and provisional restoration of historic buildings and works of arts. In 1918, after the Armistice, the French tried to find and repatriate the masterpieces which the Germans had taken away from Alsace.