D.C.

Court hearings on proposed Corcoran Gallery of Art merger set to begin this week

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WASHINGTON (AP) - Court hearings will begin this week on the proposed merger of the Corcoran Gallery of Art and its college with George Washington University and the National Gallery of Art.

A D.C. judge decided last week that nine current students, faculty and staff members can challenge the merger. An attorney for the group plans to call witnesses and question the Corcoran's management practices in court. The group says the Corcoran was mismanaged.

Hearings are set to begin Monday afternoon and could run through Thursday.

The Corcoran's board must win court approval to go forward with the merger. Corcoran attorneys say the museum has no choice but to merge with two larger institutions to survive after years of financial shortfalls.

The Corcoran is one of the nation's oldest museums, founded in 1869.

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