This unique gift will soon be presented to the state by Larry Bachar, prominent Florida attorney and activist with the Israel Bonds. Bachar’s family purchased the years ago, and it was prominently displayed in their Fort Lauderdale home
The Ben-Gurion bust was created by the Jewish Hungarian sculpture Paul Lancz, a Holocaust survivor who immigrated to Canada in 1957.
Ben-Gurion visited Canada ten years later, whereupon Lancz met with the celebrated Israeli leader in order to create his portrait. Many had attempted to sculpt the “old man’s” (a nickname for Ben-Gurion) well-recognized visage, but Lancz persuaded Ben-Gurion to actually sit still and pose for him for hours on end.
Ben- Gurion was so pleased with Lancz’s bust, that he agreed to personally autograph the sculpture. To this day, this remains the only portrait of Ben-Gurion that bears his signature.
Lancz ultimately sold this bust to Bachar’s father, a wealthy Egyptian Jew, who handed it down to his son, Larry. The latter met with Israel Bonds President, Joshua Matza, several weeks ago and told him that he was torn between leaving the bust in the family home and donating it to the state of Israel.
Matza urged Bachar to grant the sculpture to the Knesset, noting that “There is no place more fitting to display Ben-Gurion’s portrait than at the democratic institution that he had officially endorsed.”
Matza then contacted Knesset Speaker Dalia Itzik, who assured him that the statue will be prominently displayed in a dignified local in the Knesset hall, allowing the public to view it. “It was very difficult to persuade the Bachars to donate the bust,” said Matza. ‘It has immense sentimental value.”
The statue will be presented to the Knesset on Israel’s Independence Day, by an Israel Bonds sponsored delegation to Israel, headed by Matza “We are honored to share this incredible work of art with the Israeli public”, said donor Bachar. “We will make a special trip to Israel in order to formally present it to the Knesset.”.