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WASHINGTON (AP) - A District of Columbia judge has decided to approve a proposed merger of one of the nation's oldest museums with two larger institutions in Washington.

The ruling Monday from Judge Robert Okun allows the Corcoran to merge the museum and its college into George Washington University and the National Gallery of Art, effectively dissolving the independent art gallery and handing over its $2 billion in assets.

The ruling after seven days of hearings and arguments this month determines the future of the Corcoran Gallery of Art and its college after years of financial and managerial trouble.

A group of students and faculty fought the merger, arguing the Corcoran can be saved.

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