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Spirit of Jefferson Farmers Advocate
Charles Town, West Virginia
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October 3, 2012     Spirit of Jefferson Farmers Advocate
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October 3, 2012
 

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,pirit of JEFFERSON and FARNIER'SADVOCATE News Wednesday, October 3, 2012 CHRISTINE MILLER FORD Spirit Staff HARPERS FERRY - Plans to auction off a landscape by French impressionist ' Pierre-Auguste Renoir- a $100,000 piece pur- ehased in a box for $7 at a flea market here - were scrapped af- ter auction house officials learned the painting may have been sto- len from a museum in 1951. Officials from the Alexandria- Va.-based Potomack Co. post- poned the auction set for Sept. 29 after learning about a startling ~liscovery by Washington Post reporter Ian Shapira. In looking through microfilm of the Balti- more Museum of Art's library, iae uncovered documents show- ing Renoir's "Paysage Bords de Seine" had been in the museum's ~ollection starting in 1937. Officials from the auction house ;ay they checked on ownership is- sues months ago - as soon as the painting was known to be a work af the French master. On July 27, the same day the Potomack Co.'s expert con- firmed the painting was a Renoir, ~fficials contacted the Art Loss ~egister - a service that records md follows missing and stolen vorks of art -- and made sure that he painting had never been re- portedstolen or missing, accord- ng to the auction house. "Potomack also consulted the ~BI's art theft website to confirm hat it was not listed as stolen by he FBI," according to a news re- ~ase sent by the company three lays before the planned auction. But it wasn't until the report- raised questions that the Bal- timore Museum of Art reviewed its records and said that yes, the painting had in fact been swiped When officials from the mu- seum called with the news, Poto- mack Co. owner Elizabeth Wain- stein immediately notified the FBI, which has begun an inves- tigation. "At this time, many ques- tions remain about the fate of the painting after it was loaned~to the museum in 1937 and the own- ership of the painting then and now," a news release from Poto- mack states "Given these ques- tions, Potomack and the con- signor have decided to withdraw the painting from the [Saturday] sale until any questions about its ownership are resolved." In the release, Wainstein adds: "Potomack is relieved this came to light in a timely manner as we do not want to sell any item with- out clear title. Our objective in conducting a sale is always to en- sure fairness and finality both for the consignor and for the buying public. Postpoaing the sale of the Renoir painting is the best way of achieving that objective in this case." The auction house was to sell the painting for a Virginia woman whose identity hasn't been made public. She has said she bought the painting in 2010 at the Harp- ers Ferry Flea Market. The box also contained a plastic cow and a Paul Bunyan figure. The find generated interna- tional headlines and Potomack officials had predicted the paint- ing would sell for as much as $100,000. The painting was known to A Washington Post rep0rter's research at a flea market in Harpers Ferry two from the Baltimore Museum of Art. Renoir's "Paysage Bords de Seine" had been set for but reports that it was stolen from a museum in 1951 have been sold by a Paris muse- um to Herbert May, whose Bal- timore-born wife, Saidie, was an The perfect way to usher in the Hal- loween season, this comedy takes us to the swamps and sugarcane fields of Florida as the Sugar Bean Sisters hatch a diabolical and comi- cal plot involving space people. 0GTOBER 19,20,21, 26,27,28 Show times and prices: Fridays & Saturdays 8PM $17 Adults/ $8 Students Sunday Matinees 2:30PM $15 Adults~S8 Students Rese ations call 304-725-4420 A Community Thrift Store 115 N. Charles St., Charles Town (304) 725-6605 Operated by dedicated volunteers; all proceeds are used to enhance programming and maintain Charles Town's historic Old Opera House. The Old Opera House 204 N. George Street Charles Town, WV 25414 (304) 725-4420 www.oldoperahouse.org Wild Boar Goulash ~"~/L{, -- a Large Selection of German & Continental Cuisine "European Sunday Brunch" llam to 2:30 pm ii;~iiiii; iii~/ii -on the Potomac - SHEPHERDSTOWN, WV (304) 876-2551 www.bavarianinnwv.com Major Credit Cards Accepted indicates the Renoir landscape found years ago was pilfered decades ago THE POTOMACK CO. auction last weekend, postponed the sale. artist, art lover and eventually a major benefactor to the Charm City museum. YOUR Source FOR NEWS Call today to subscribe/ 725-2046 o( Sdftr on 210 N. George St. Charles Town, WV ROBERT SNYDER Bargain hunters made their way to the Charles Town Li- brary last weekend for the annual used book sale, a major fundraiser for the privately funded library at 200 W. Wash- ington St. Thousands of used titles were up for grabs dur- ing the two-day even, including audio books, children's literature, paperbacks, hardbacks and more. PATH ~ve law hearing, similar to a Irial. The hearing process is likely to FROM PAGE A1 raise further issues, Newman add- eral Energy Regulatory Commis- ed, because PATH recently filed sion, or FERC, ruled that both to formally abandon the proposed Newman and Haverty were in- power line. Fomaally abandoning terested parties with a legitimate the process will allow PATH to try fight to challenge PATH's pro- to recoup the $121 million in costs posed rates, they incurred while attempting to "The hurdle we had to jump pursue the project. was to raise serious doubts about Combined with the $95 million their accounting," Newman said. PATH has collected for the project "We did raise serious doubts, and since 2008, Newman says, "we're that is what is affirmed in the or- talking about a quarter of a billion der.Ihopetheyw'dlfmaUytreatus dollars for a project that never got as an equal." off the ground." Since Newman and Haverty Patience Wait of StopPATH said have been formally recognized as Newman and Haverty's actions will interested parties, PATH will now pay a double dividend to ratepay- be under increased legal obliKa- ers, lowering their rates while mak- fion to comply with their requests ing it clear that they have a legiti- for documents detailing account- mate fight to be heard when FERC ing practices, expenditures and examines rates. other intemal documents. New- "Individuals, citizens like you man said, after being initially ac- and me, can participate at a national commodating, PATH had attempt- agency when we have questions or ed to deny their requests as the re- want information on what a regulat- view process dragged on. "Now ed power company wants to charge they have to cooperate and give us ratepayers for" Wait said. "Citizens the information we want," New- all over the country can look at this man said. and say see we have a right to get Newman and Haverty, among involved." other intervenors, will now be part "These women gave us a chance of a FERC process called "settle- ofgeuing some ofthe money (spent ment" similar to mediation, that pursuing PATH) back," Wait said. will attempt to resolve all the is- "Now they will be able to go back sues they have raised. If the settle- and look at other expenses. I think ment discussions are unsuccessful, that there is a big argument to be Newman andHaverty will face off had over whether any of that mon- with PATH at a formal administra- ey was prudently spent." Appraise FROM PAGE A1 Over the years, the fair has de- livered good news to antique own- ers, including the 2011 event when a local couple learned their Vacher- on Constanlin pocket watch had a value of more than $100,000. Rissler sa~d the fair also serves as a key fundraiser for the muse- urn, with $600 or more raised in a ditional item co.sti g $3): typical year. To know more: CaLl curator For those who have questions Jane Rissler at the Jefferson or who need more information, Rissler may be reached at muse- ICounty Museum at ~04-725- I um at 304-725-8628 or by email at 8628 or email her at iris' " sler@ jrissler @ frontier.com, frontier.com. 5poR501"5 the... ( About our multiple petdiscountsl Finn, a 2 year old male Spaniel mix, is looking for a forever home He is brown in color, neutered, and current on all vaccinations. To visit him or any of the other 75 wonderful dogs and cats waiting for forever homes, please visit the Animal Welfare Soci- ety shelter on Old Leetown Pike Road Oust west of the county fairgrounds). Our public hours are 11 ~ to 4 pm Wednesday through Saturday. 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