Detroit Sell Art Improve Schools
Why is the agreement just approved by Detroit’s city counsel called the Grand Bargain considered so Grand? It seems the city is potentially trading $15 billion in art for under $1 billion and makes no sense.
Granted all of the art has not been valued and it has not been ascertained whether the city has authority to sell the art because of certain clauses that may have been included in the documents executed at the time the donor contributed it to the city. Logic dictates nothing should be finalized until these issues are resolved.
"Christie’s, the New York auction house, is assessing the collection. If the value is pegged at $2 billion to $3 billion, the DIA likely will escape relatively unscathed. If, as expected, it comes in at $10 billion to $15 billion, the half-billion Orr wants is reasonable. But if the number is more astronomical — $25 billion or above — somebody call Roger Penske and order a moving van." (It is interesting that if you click on the link to Nolan’s commentary it is no longer accessible on the Detroit News)
Selling art will allow the city to hire the best teachers and have the lowest teacher to pupil ratio of any public school in the metro area. As the word gets out that Detroit’s teacher to pupil ratio competes with some of the best private schools in the area middle class families will be moving into the city. Couple this with a program that mirrors the Kalamazoo Promise where students graduating from Detroit Public Schools receive free tuition and books to any state college or university and the real estate industry will have a tough time keeping up with demand. Current housing prices will rise thus increasing property tax collections.
The growth in a middle class will further result in the development of neighborhood and regional shopping centers which in turn lead to job creation.
It should be Detroiters who decide what to do with Detroit’s art. Do you want your city and children to have a bright future or do you want them to be able to visit the Masters at their convenience?