Thursday, January 23, 2014

Detroit Fire Sale

Gov. Rick Snyder is expected to announce today a state financial pledge toward boosting Detroit’s pension funds and protecting Detroit Institute of Arts paintings from a bankruptcy fire sale, sources told The Detroit News.
Bankruptcy fire sale of a major museum collection to pay unsecured creditors would be a terrible precedent. Slashing pensions for the same would be pernicious.

Detroit Institute of Arts fire sale: The worst idea out of Motor City since the Edsel (Washington Post)

Since I am traveling to Detroit once a year now for work, I find the 50 year saga of its diminishing population and fortunes, and what kind of urban space that has created fascinating.

Good photo essays here:

1 comment:

Pete said...

I'm not convinced DIA has the legal right to withhold its art from the city's creditors. I think it was set up in a short sighted way. They should make a foundation now with state legislation, and man the legal battlements. I think it'd not be out of line to sell a few works with the money being ear-marked specifically to cover pension short falls.

Peter Schjeldahl has spoken out on both sides of the issue. First he suggested that the city should choose to pay its pensioners, if it came down between a choice of doing so or keeping the collection. Two days later he reversed his position.

I'm not as horrified by his first post as it seems many were. I think the city's responsibility to its pensioners is more concrete, as well. Though I can see how the choice between art and pensions can be framed as a false choice/wedge issue.

First Post

Seconds Post