Sep 03, 2014
By Michael Kramer
A lawyer for The Detroit Institute of Arts has told a judge that a forced sale of city-owned art “would chill philanthropic giving for generations to come.”
During his opening statements in Detroit’s bankruptcy trial, Arthur O’Reilly said artworks in the museum cannot be used to satisfy the debt of creditors – because most of the DIA’s 60,000 pieces were donated – or purchased – through donations.
The city’s debt restructuring plan needs approval by a U.S. federal Judge.
The plan includes more than $800 million in commitments from major corporations, foundations, the state of Michigan and others – to soften the cuts to City of Detroit pensions – while the museum’s art is placed in trust.
Some creditors are demanding that city assets be considered – to satisfy Detroit’s debt – estimated at $18 to $20 billion dollars.