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Subject: bankruptcy sale / clean out the van or rent U-haul
Sister Wendy did the DAI in her
American Collection (2000), but I don't know which piece(s) she showed. She's a
Sister of Notre Dame -- not a Carmelite, but is a contemplative at a Carmelite
Detroit art sale could raise
up to U$866,000,000
by Steve James
When you owe over $18,000,000,000 ,
does selling off a few paintings for $800 million make much
That's the question for Kevyn
Orr, emergency manager of the city of Detroit, who is looking for ways to
satisfy creditors now that America's largest municipal bankruptcy has been given
the go-ahead by a federal judge.
On Wednesday, the revered
auction house Christie's said it has appraised some of the Detroit Institute of
Arts' collection and said the works had a fair market value of $452 million to
$866 million. It also suggested five alternatives to selling, which would allow
the city to benefit financially, while keeping the DIA collection
Christie's, which was retained
by the city to appraise city-owned works as part of Detroit's bankruptcy case,
said 11 pieces on display in the museum account for 75 percent of the appraised
collection's total value.
Christie's only appraised 2,781
pieces, purchased with city funds and representing less than 5 percent of the
institute's total collection, which includes masterpieces by Bruegel, van Gogh
The alternatives, outlined in a
letter to Orr from Christie's Americas president Doug Woodham, were: to use the
art as collateral for a loan, lease the works to a partner museum, create a
"masterpiece trust," sell the art and loan it permanently to DIA, or put the
works in a traveling exhibition.
On Tuesday, Judge Steven Rhodes
ruled that Detroit was eligible for Chapter 9 bankruptcy
But the federal judge questioned
the push by some of the city’s largest creditors to sell paintings and sculpture
from the DIA. While he did not say specifically that the art should be spared,
Rhodes said that such a sale would not have helped Detroit avoid
“A one-time infusion of cash by
selling an asset,” he said, would have only delayed the city’s “inevitable
financial failure” unless it could have also come up with a sustainable way to
enhance income and reduce expenses."
Related: Grandparents, have you
changed how you spend on your grandkids?
Rhodes said that in considering
selling assets, a city “must take extreme care that the asset is truly
unnecessary in carrying out its mission.”
A coalition of creditors filed a
motion last week asking the judge to appoint a committee to oversee an
independent appraisal of the collection.
Orr told the Detroit Free Press
editorial board after Tuesday's ruling that in “preliminary discussions” with
Christie’s, it appeared that the market value of some of the best pieces in the
collection would be less than $2 billion — a figure widely cited as a low
estimate of the collection’s value — and that the appraisal could come in at
less than $1 billion.
“We will try to get some value
from the art in some fashion,” he told the board, but he said that did not mean
that there was any plan at present to sell any art at auction. “Let’s be clear.
That’s a city asset,” he told the newspaper.
He has said publicly that museum
officials must “save themselves” by finding a way to contribute money, possibly
as much as $500 million, toward the city’s debt relief.
The institute itself is opposed
to an art firesale.
"The DIA art collection is a
cultural resource of the people of Detroit," it said in a statement. "The
museum's collection is the result of more than a century of public and private
charitable contributions for the benefit of the public.
"Protected by a charitable and
public trust, the collection has survived several municipal fiscal crises and
financial downturns, including the Great Depression, free from threats to its
existence," it said.
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Labels: Christie's;, Detroit Art Institute, Ohio State, Sister Wendy, University of Michigan