Dec. 03--The Detroit Institute of Arts is again urging the city not to consider selling its art collection to pay off city debts in the wake of a federal judge Steven Rhodes' ruling Tuesday that Detroit's bankruptcy proceedings may proceed.
With Detroit $18.5 billion in debt, the city's governor-appointed emergency manager Kevyn Orr had ordered Christie's auction house to appraise the DIA's art for possible sale or some other form of "monetization."
A DIA statement released Tuesday professes support for "the Emergency Manager's efforts to address the City's current financial crisis" and expresses hope that the judge's ruling "will lead to a quicker and more effective resolution of the crisis."
But the art museum, which is funded largely by the three surrounding counties and not the city itself, is set against efforts to use its assets to pay Detroit's bills.
"The DIA ... opposes the motion filed last week by certain City creditors to allow them to form a committee to oversee the valuation and sale or "monetization" of the museum art collection to satisfy municipal obligations," it states. "The DIA remains hopeful that the Emergency Manager will recognize the City's fiduciary duty to protect the museum art collection for future generations and that he will abide by the Michigan Attorney General's opinion that the City holds the art collection in trust and cannot use it to satisfy City obligations. If the art is placed in jeopardy, the DIA remains committed to take action to preserve this cultural birthright for future generations."
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Original headline: Detroit Institute of Arts urges city not to sell art
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