ONE of the world's richest private collections, amassed by Spain's late Francisco de Assis Cambo, was back home last week after a 3½-year tug of war between Argentina and Spain. As the cream of the collection was readied for hanging in Barcelona's Museo de Arte de Cataluna, Spaniards discovered that the prize was well worth the haggling. Spread out before them was an eye-filling feast of masterpieces by Spaniards Zurburan, Murillo and Goya and such other masters as Rubens, Cranach, Tiepolo, Botticelli and Correggio.

The man who spent a lifetime collecting this treasure-trove was a proud, bantam-sized Catalan who exploded onto the...

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