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Owner of Madison Avenue Art Gallery Leaps to Her Death, Reports Say

By  Jess Wisloski and Paul Lomax | December 23, 2012 11:03am | Updated on December 23, 2012 2:58pm

LENOX HILL — An art gallery owner jumped to her death Saturday on the Upper East Side, officials confirmed, after the woman found sprawled across a Madison Avenue curb Saturday was identified in reports as Marijana Bego, 54.

The medical examiner determined that the death of Bego, who was found in front of Ezair Gallery at 905 Madison Avenue at 6:20 a.m., was a suicide, and that she died of blunt impact injuries to the neck, torso, and extremities.

Bego, who owned three galleries in total, including two in Long Island, ran a forward-thinking business that attracted high-society clients, including Hearst family members and descendants of Winston Churchill, the NY Post reported.

Jenna Lash, an artist whose work had shown at Bego's Manhattan gallery, told the Post something seemed off about Bego.

“Sometimes her behavior was rather erratic,” the 62-year-old artist told the paper. “She was dramatic, and sometimes she was a little ‘out there.’ But I just figured she was a character — a little over the top, someone who liked to enjoy herself.”

Pauline, a manager of Bra Smyth, a lingerie store beneath the gallery, said Bego had seemed unhappy. 

"I saw her a few weeks ago and she looked very sad. She didn't even say hello and even looked away," she said. Pauline did not want her last name used. "She was always very quiet. I don't think she had any family here, she seemed all alone in the world."

A woman shopping in the store, who also didn't want her name used, chimed in that Bego was an off-beat character.

"She was a weirdo, the strangest woman I ever knew. What happened doesn't surprise me one bit," she said.

However, Luis Melgar, 27, a deli worker at Marché Madison, Bego used to buy groceries, he said, recalled a warm and friendly woman.

"She was a very nice lady. When I saw her picture I just couldn't believe it. I used to see her walking past here all the time," he said.

"She always seemed happy and she would always say hi to all the guys here."