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In the Air – Art+Auction's Gossip Column

Detroit Institute of Arts Releases Statement After City Files for Bankruptcy

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On Thursday afternoon the city of Detroit confirmed long-standing suspicions that it will file for bankruptcy, a situation the art world has been watching closely after the collection of the Detroit Institute of Arts‘ (DIA) collection was named as an asset that could be liquidated to pay off part of the city’s $18-$20 billion debt in such an event. Shortly after the news broke, DIA’s public relations director Pamela Marcil sent out a statement, included below, about the brankruptcy filing.

DIA’s statement reads:

Like so many with deep roots in this city, the Detroit Institute of Arts (DIA) is disappointed that the Emergency Manager determined it was necessary to file for bankruptcy.  As a municipal bankruptcy of this size is unprecedented, the DIA will continue to carefully monitor the situation, fully confident that the emergency manager, the governor and the courts will act in the best interest of the City, the public and the museum.  We remain committed to our position that the Detroit Institute of Arts and the City of Detroit hold the DIA’s collection in trust for the public and we stand by our charge to preserve and protect the cultural heritage of all Michigan residents.

Just to be sure that DIA’s collection would not be at risk, Michigan’s state senate introduced a bill in June hoping to safeguard the artworks in the event of the city declaring bankruptcy.

— Benjamin Sutton

(Photo credit: Eric Wheeler. Photo via Detroit Institute of Arts/Facebook.)

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