Spring came to still-frosty Berlin on Thursday courtesy of George Clooney, who had ice cleared from sidewalks and added green trees to the landscape for the filming of "The Monuments Men," set in the waning days of World War II.

The film is inspired by true story of a U.S. military unit comprising seven museum directors, curators and art historians sent into Germany with the mission of rescuing art works plundered by the Nazis.

Clooney, who is both acting and directing, put together a cast that includes Matt Damon, Cate Blanchett, Bill Murray, Jean Dujardin, Bob Balaban, Hugh Bonneville and John Goodman.

Shooting got under way two weeks ago in Berlin and nearby Potsdam, starting with interior scenes.

When it came time to film outdoors, Clooney and his crew were forced to make over Berlin's historic Nikolaiviertel to conform to the requirements of the script. EFE