Sorry about the "technical difficulty!!" :-o
I do agree about a taller piece on the mantel to emphasize the height of the room.
The gold is very classy looking and very neutral, so unless you WANT to paint, I would suggest leaving it. If it should be a selling obstacle, paint it for the buyer!!
SAS912 Maybe you are referring to an artificial looking setting. When I refer to "staging" I mean the house is tidy and arranged to its best advantage. HGTV is not "law." Take the principles and run with them. You don't have to "set the table" so to speak. A well-arranged home with defined rooms statistically shows/sells better.
I looked at your photos. If you want to keep the picture, put it above the fireplace....better "fit" than above media center and also better "fit" than the two small pictures on the mantle. Give it a try and see what you think.
Why not spend a little on staging if it will get you your selling price or more? It costs less to stage than reduce price. I agree, the market is bad now, but that means a house has to show as the best to even get lookers! Staging is a positive move...reducing price is a negative move.