November 16, 2007
(AP) The Virginia Supreme Court has halted plans by financially ailing Randolph College to auction off four paintings to boost its endowment.
Opponents of the sale had been ordered to raise a $10 million bond by Thursday for an injunction. But Friday the court lowered the bond to $1 million and extended the deadline to December 3rd. Meeting that deadline would put off the sale for six months.
Officials at the private liberal arts college in Lynchburg hoped the paintings would bring at least $32 million, but Christie's estimated the George Bellows painting "Men of the Docks" alone could fetch as much as $35 million.
Anne Yastremski, executive director of a group funding the lawsuit, said in an e-mail that the 1 million-dollar bond set by the Supreme Court is "more manageable."
College officials said the art sale was the only way they could strengthen Randolph's financial position before a review by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, an accrediting agency
that has put the college on warning.
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