May 14, 2015

By Michael Kramer

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The Director of the Detroit Institute of Arts says he considered selling a Van Gogh painting –  to raise the money to buy other works for the museum.

Graham Beal says he spoke with an auction house about selling “Still Life with Carnations,” but then decided it was not the right time for such a move – just after Detroit had escaped from bankruptcy in December.

Accredited museums routinely sell art works to raise money to buy new pieces.

Detroit Institute spokeswoman Pam Marcil says the Van Gogh sale isn’t  related to the bankruptcy or so-called “grand bargain,” in which foundations and others agreed to contribute more than $800 million- to take the bite out of Detroit retiree pension cuts – while protecting art owned by the city from creditors.

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