- The Washington Times - Monday, January 7, 2008

MARYLAND

GAITHERSBURG

Man found in road was hit by car

Montgomery County Police said there is no evidence of foul play in the death of a man whose body was found early yesterday morning in Muncaster Mill Road.

Police responded to a call about a disturbance before 1 a.m. and found the body of Manuel Antonio Ramirez, 38, of Gaithersburg.

Police said Mr. Ramirez was struck by at least one vehicle while he was in the road. A driver of one vehicle that hit him remained on the scene.

VIRGINIA

LYNCHBURG

Disputed paintings remain in New York

Four paintings that Randolph College planned to sell remain in storage in New York nearly two months after the sale was temporarily blocked by a court injunction.

College officials decided to leave the paintings in the hands of Christie’s auction house rather than return them to the school’s Maier Museum. They still hope to sell the art after the legal battle is settled.

“We decided not to expose the paintings to the risk of unnecessary transport,” Randolph spokeswoman Brenda Edson said.

The four paintings originally were slated for sale in two Christie’s auctions in November. A group of Randolph alumnae and former employees sued to block the sales, which were put on hold by the injunction.

A trial is set for April 29 in Lynchburg Circuit Court, said Tony Troy, a Richmond-based attorney representing opponents of the sale. He said a hearing on the college’s motion to dismiss the case is set for Feb. 5.

Opponents of the sale said the paintings — George Bellows’ “Men of the Docks,” Edward Hicks’ “A Peaceable Kingdom,” Ernest Hennings’ “Through the Arroyo” and Rufino Tamayo’s “Troubador” — should be returned in the meantime.

“In my mind, if the works are not being sold in the immediate future, then they need to be back on campus to be utilized as they were intended,” said Ellen Agnew, former associate director of the Maier Museum.

Miss Edson said moving the artwork is a “big process” that shouldn’t be taken lightly.

“You can understand the attachment that people have to those paintings,” she said. “But you just can’t keep moving paintings back and forth.”

The college wants to sell the paintings to boost its endowment. The paintings were expected to raise at least $32 million.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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