itzkik barzilai 248.88.
(photo credit: Courtesy)
They met 47 years ago on the streets of Europe, running clandestine operations on behalf of the Mossad.
At the time, Rafi Eitan, a legendary operative involved in the capture of Adolf Eichmann and until recently a government minister, was head of Mossad operations in Europe. Itzik Barzilai was Eitan's assistant; and several months ago he retired from the defense establishment after serving in the Defense Ministry and as head of three different Mossad departments.
The two will meet again at the beginning of July - this time at a joint art exhibition in Herzliya where Barzilai will display paintings and Eitan, sculptures.
Called "Capturing the Moment," the exhibition will be held at a new gallery allocated by the Herzliya Municipality called the City Gallery - Beit Amanei Herzliya. The opening will be attended by Herzliya Mayor Yael German and former Mossad chief Shabtai Shavit.
Eitan has been sculpting for over 30 years, during which he produced around 100 pieces. Barzilai has been an avid painter since his childhood, focusing mainly on people. The exhibition will display a series he painted of fishermen in Greece, jazz players in New Orleans and landscapes he painted in Italy.
"Painting was an escape for me and a way to express myself, since my mouth was always closed," Barzilai, whose career in the Mossad spanned 38 years, told The Jerusalem Post. "To meet Rafi Eitan again in 2009 and exhibit art together is definitely a type of closure."
Barzilai said he carried his sketchbook with him around the world and to the dozens of countries he visited on assignment.
"To put it simply, the painting also assisted me throughout life," he said.
Eitan said he first got interested in sculpting when he was on an assignment in Paris, during which he visited an exhibition by famed sculptor Alberto Giacometti.
"I worked in a job with a lot of stress," he said. "The sculpting served as a valve through which I could release some of that pressure."
Avraham Pat, the exhibition's curator, said that in his paintings, Barzilai succeeded in capturing his characters' unique movements and expressions. â€ž
"The artist depicts the characters with a sense of sympathy," Pat said.