Detroit, Emergency Managers — August 5, 2013 at 2:52 pm

So now we know who brought Christie’s auction house in to appraise Detroit’s art collection: Emergency Manager Kevyn Orr


What were the odds…?

[DIA “Thinker” image modified from CC photo by Michael Barera | Wikimedia Commons]

A couple of weeks ago, we learned that Christie’s auction house was in Detroit to appraise the Detroit Institute of Arts legendary collection. At the time, nobody knew who had called them in. Pamela Marcil, a museum spokeswoman, said “We don’t know who contacted Christie’s.”

Now we know. It was, apparently, Detroit Emergency Manager Kevyn Orr. The Detroit News is now reporting that Orr has hired them to appraise the art collection, held in trust for the people of Michigan by the city of Detroit.

Orr says it doesn’t mean he’s going to sell any of the art.

“The city must know the current value of all its assets, including the city-owned collection at the DIA,” Orr’s statement reads. “There has never been, nor is there now, any plan to sell art. This valuation, as well as the valuation of other city assets, is an integral part of the restructuring process. It is a step the city must take to reach resolutions with its creditors and secure a viable, strong future for Detroit and its residents.”

There are a LOT of things “on the table” in Detroit’s bankruptcy. This incredible collection of art should not be one of them. That would be a profound and shameful act of “eating your seed corn” and harmful to the long term recovery of the city.