Detroit art caught in bankruptcy battle. (CBS News) Detroit, which became the largest city to declare bankruptcy in U.S. history Thursday, is home to one of the most prestigious collections of art in the world.
And one of the options on the table to deal with its crippling debt is for all of that to be sold. But it's not so simple. To Rod Spencer, the Detroit Institute of Arts is priceless. Detroit exits bankruptcy: City's pensions saved in part thanks to Detroit Institute of Art. Photo by Bill Pugliano/Getty Images A federal judge approved Detroit's bankruptcy plan today, allowing the city government to hit the reset button after its years of financial mismanagement.
As part of the deal, which took a relatively speedy 16 months to complete, the city is eliminating $7 billion worth of debt—some creditors will be paid just 14 cents on the dollar—while slicing pension payments to its retired workforce by 4.5 percent (and ending their cost of living increases, and upping their health plan costs, and ... you get the idea, it's unpleasant). Meanwhile, the blueprint sets aside $1.7 billion over the next decade to cover critical needs, like demolishing abandoned homes and buying new fire trucks and ambulances. As many outlets are noting, the bankruptcy could have been far lengthier, and even more painful for retirees, had it not been for an unusual deal designed to save the Detroit Institute of Arts while minimizing cuts to pensions. Van Gogh for sale? DIA tiptoes into art auction market.
The art world is buzzing, albeit quietly, about a prospective, voluntary sale of some Detroit Institute of Arts works — including an 1886 Van Gogh still life.
In the hubbub of Detroit's Chapter 9 bankruptcy, the prospect of selling off the DIA's collection was a key controversy. Selling even one painting to satisfy creditors or fund operations, DIA officials said then, could destroy the DIA's standing in the museum world. The DIA triumphed when the so-called "grand bargain" ensured the museum would remain intact last year. Instead of selling any art, the museum pledged $100 million to help the city pay down debt.
The proposed sale of DIA works, reported in art publications, is intriguing because it marks the first time the museum has discussed selling art or art objects since the bankruptcy. Detroit museum considered selling Van Gogh to buy other art. Detroit Needs Money. Can A 'Grand Bargain' Save The City's Art? Can wealthy art lovers help save Detroit's pension funds — and one of its museums?
The city is struggling to find ways to emerge from bankruptcy. One idea: sell the city's art to save the pensions of city retirees. The Detroit Institute of Arts, or DIA, has faced serious financial difficulties over the years, and yet it holds the city's most valuable assets: a world-class art collection that includes works by Van Gogh, Rembrandt and Matisse. Estimates vary, but Christie's recently appraised these works at more than $850 million. Because some of those masterpieces were bought with city funds, they could be auctioned off to pay creditors. Sale of Detroit Institute art debated in light of city's bankruptcy - latimes. Auguste Rodin's "The Thinker" on view in front of the Detroit… (Jeff Kowalsky / Bloomberg ) The Detroit Institute of Arts is back in the national spotlight after city leaders said Thursday that the city had filed for bankruptcy.
At the heart of the museum-world debate is whether the city should sell valuable works of art in the DIA's collection to pay off some of the city's debt. Cookies are Not Accepted - New York Times.