Detroit’s creditors are getting out of hand. Today, news came that they have solicited bids for the art owned by the Detroit Institute of Arts — getting billion-dollar bids for the collection or key parts of it.
The prospective investors include a coalition of Catalyst Acquisitions and Bell Capital Partners that tentatively offered $1.75 billion for all of the DIA’s property. The bids also include two Asian investors, including Beijing-based Poly International Auction, which tentatively offered up to $1 billion for the DIA’s Chinese art collection.
The bids, disclosed in a bankruptcy filing, ranged from $895 million to buy 116 unnamed artworks to a $2 billion loan that would require the entire 66,000-piece collection to be used as collateral.
Bond insurer Financial Guarantee Insurance Corp. filed an accompanying motion in U.S. Bankruptcy Court seeking to compel the city to let the bidders proceed with examining the paintings and sculptures and their accompanying ownership documentation.
Bankruptcy law gives a city’s creditors little leverage over the settlement, unlike corporate bankruptcies, thank goodness. We all just have to keep the judge informed how damaging this will be to the city of Detroit, long-term.
Photo Credit: Courtesy of the Free Press