Summary of Detroit’s art and it’s bankruptcy

Some people say I am obsessed with the Grand Bargain and the transfer of the art once owned by the city and now owned by a separate entity. The reason I am focused on it can be summarized in eleven digits. At the start of the Emergency Managers tenure it was mentioned that the art could be worth as much as $15,000,000,000. Think what the city could do with even $10 billion.

It could build an outstanding school system, improve mass transit, fix the fire department, reduce crime, help solve the water crisis, remove blight and the list goes on and on. 

Something does not smell right. See below.

Summary of Detroit’s art and it’s bankruptcy

  • Under Chapter 9 bankruptcy Detroit was not required to use the art to settle its debts.
  • In June 2013 the Emergency Manager submitted a report that listed the art at the DIA as owned by the city
  • In June 2013 Nolan Finley made a statement indicating the art was worth between $10 and $15 billion. Here is a blog referring to a Detroit News article where the value above is mentioned....
  • There was never an appraisal done of all the art at the DIA. There were two appraisals done of a portion of the collection, one coming in at $4.6 billion. and the other at $8.5 billion.
  • The reason given for transferring $10 billion plus in art to the DIA was to avoid high legal cost. (Somehow I think the high legal cost would have been far below $10 billion.)
  • WHY? One theory was the heirs of the original donors of the art did not want the art sold. Further many of these heirs were big contributors to Snyder’s reelection campaign which was going on at the same time as the bankruptcy.


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