SHOWMAN Billy Rose likes to describe himself as the "Sixth Avenue Medici." Last week he could prove that the statement was no idle boast. In one magnificent gesture, he had given $1,000,000 worth of sculpture to the Bezalel National Museum of Israel.

The modern Medici has stocked his 45-room Manhattan mansion on East 93rd Street with sculptures, now owns some 50-odd pieces that form a handsome compendium of sculpture over the past 130 years. Rose had no plans for parting with any of it until last year, when he got a letter from the...

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