Famous Painting Disappears

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A famous portrait of a late tennis champion and a local student has disappeared.

It was first unveiled back in 1993 to kick-off Virginia Heroes, a youth mentoring program founded by tennis great Arthur Ashe.

“It capsulates what Virginia Heroes is all about, it shows a young man coming up, being guided by a senior person,” says Raphael Seligmann, Virginia Heroes President.

The boy in the painting, Darryl Goode, is a former Richmond student and one of the program's first mentees.

Local artist Louis Briel painted the portrait along with others, one of which now hangs in the Smithsonian's National Portrait Gallery.

The painting was last spotted hanging inside the Richmond Centre. It's where the Greater Richmond Convention Center now stands.

The artist says he remembers you used to be able to drive down 5th Street and see the painting through the glass window.

Where it went from there is a mystery.

“We checked the Valentine, with the Black History Museum with almost every possible place the painting could have been moved and have drawn a blank,” says Seligmann.

Briel hopes to find the painting and the student in time for a March celebration of Virginia Heroes and it's founder.

Copyright 2008 by Young Broadcasting, Inc.

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