Skip to comments.Detroit may sell its cultural gems if city goes bust
Posted on 06/25/2013 12:56:34 AM PDT by TexGrill
DETROIT When Johnathan Shearrod gazes at Van Goghs Self Portrait, Bruegel the Elders Wedding Dance or any of the other treasures at the Detroit Institute of Arts, he cant help but fear for their future.
If Detroit falls into bankruptcy, those masterpieces and other prized artworks could go on the auction block to help satisfy the citys staggering debts. Though the auctions would raise much-needed cash, they would also strip the city of its cultural riches, including paintings by Rivera, Renoir and Matisse, and maybe even zoo animals and historic automobiles.
The art here is just as important as any of the structures connected to the auto industry, said Shearrod, a grant manager for a local nonprofit organization, during a recent visit to the museum. The DIA is the spirit of Detroit.
Other institutions owned by the city and potentially at risk include a black-culture museum, the historic Fort Wayne dating to the 1840s and the 400-hectare Belle Isle park, which will probably be leased to the state. Just north of the city is the Detroit Zoo.
Another source of potential auction pieces is the Detroit Historical Museums collection of about 60 vehicles, including an 1870 Phaeton Carriage car, a 1911 Ford Model T and John Dodges 1919 coupe.
Shearrod said the DIA collection shouldnt be considered as an option.
Bidding the stuff off is completely ridiculous, he said. There are better ways of dealing with Detroits debt than selling off an art collection piece by irreplaceable piece.
(Excerpt) Read more at japantimes.co.jp ...
“selling off an art collection piece by irreplaceable piece.”
The pieces aren’t going to just disappear. If it ever gets its act together again, Detroit can simply buy the pieces back; or create a completely new collection.
Selling off treasured possessions is a painful consequence of going broke. Failure is like that.
The DIA is the spirit of Detroit.
heh. I read that first as DOA.
Better to be sold to a collector or another museum, than to be melted down for their metal content
Detroit is planning on building a $650 MILLION DOLLAR HOCKEY ARENA!!!!! OMG!!! Talk about “stuck on STUPID”.
“selling off an art collection piece by irreplaceable piece.The pieces arent going to just disappear. If it ever gets its act together again, Detroit can simply buy the pieces back; or create a completely new collection.”
Governments should not be indulging in the purchase of “art.” Ever. Governments are there to govern. Not collect. In DC there’s a huge frickin’ baseball bat. It’s “art.” It was a waste of the public’s money. I feel the same about monuments. They are not something the people should be investing in. Somebody wants to build a monument? Fine, they pay for it and donate it.
Well, auction them off, or let the looters have ‘em later...
Rot has a friend in DC. How did Detroit get this way? MMMMMM............ years of democrate control and corruption. Detroit is the poster child for America. If the rats get thier way with immigration and alike and corner the market on rat rule for a decade or so America will be detroit
“There are better ways of dealing with Detroits debt than selling off an art collection piece by irreplaceable piece.”
Hey, they could always pay the debt back. I’m sure all the government employees and retirees would willingly take a massive haircut in pensions and compensation so Detroit could keep these so-called irreplaceable pieces of art, right?
Just a trip to the pawnshop, and their financial troubles will be over.
Waiting for a federal bailout always works well.
You have obviously never heard of the Detroit Red Wings?
More than 20 years ago, a friend who was an avid Civil War (War of Northern Aggression to those in the South) buff and reenactor. I found out thru him that there was/is a sizeable number of CW buff/reenactors in Michigan. At the time, Coolman Young, a giant racist ba$tard was mayor of Detroit and had succeeded in the previous years of his administration in running a lot of whitey out of the city—except for the whitey with the loot bags full of money. At any rate, the CW reenactor community approached some Coolman Young key flunky proposing to take over the administration of Fort Wayne. Fort Wayne (not the Indiana one) predated the CW and has a number of buildings and fortifications still in existence from the pre-CW era. The City was, of course, not doing anything with the Fort except letting it crumble. The response from the Coolman administration was basically, “we aren’t interested in preserving anything that glorifies the white man.”
I don’t believe that there is too much concern in post-Coolman Detroit for preserving anything that can become loot unless the State taxpayers ante up. We do have an unprincipled governor who might just find a tax he can apply to other Michiganians so he can come in as the vanilla knight and save the city cultural institutions. He could also approach his big money buddies who actually own a lot of Detroit infrastructure for help, but taxing us is much more appealing to the nerd.
It's not and never has been. This whole idea was started several weeks ago by the local press and they've now successfully created a controversy where none previously existed........
Like Rush says, just throwing crap on a wall and seeing how much sticks.
Bidding the stuff off is completely ridiculous, he said. There are better ways of dealing with Detroits debt than selling off an art collection piece by irreplaceable piece.”
Detroit would rather push its bondholders to accept pennies on the dollar for the virtually worthless paper they hold than to sell off assets to protect these same bondholders.
Detroit is emblematic of what’s wrong with Socialist politics all over the country.
Next they’ll be auctioning off Jesse Jackson’s hub caps (the ones that were boosted from his Escalade while he was parked outside of the Detroit city hall).
...at risk include a black-culture museum...
They should just pawn the stuff. I know a good shop out on 8 Mile.
“Is this a collection of Detroits gang signs and graffiti?”
It’s the Charles H. Wright Museum. And it’s heavily subsidized by Detroit taxpayers. In a 2004 auditor’s report, the OAG (Office of Auditor General) issued this warning:
“...Unless the museum receives additional funding it will be necessary to cut back its operations significantly or discontinue operation completely, under the worst case scenario.”
That was in 2004 when the economy was roaring along.
The museum remains open and operating to this very day despite that fact that it remains heavily subsidized by taxpayer funds in a city that can’t afford to fix its ambulances or keep cops on the street.
Priorities. Detroit’s are all wrong. But I’m sure that museum helps the victims of black-on-black crime in the city feel good about themselves and their city, especially when they can’t even get a live cop on the phone to respond to an emergency.
Detroit is not only a disaster but a picture of America’s future if liberal priorities are allowed to persist.
Sell the DIA to Oakland County.......
My reaction to this is,
It’s what happens when your citizens figure out they can vote themselves anything they want. Eventually, you run out of other people’s money, and like any other junkie, you have to start selling off your stuff to get another fix.
The GOP, if it has any conservatives left in it, should buy billboards on the major arteries going into and out of Detroit saying:
“Welcome to the city progressivism built. We recommend you come armed, since nobody is left to take a 911 call.”
You got the government you deserved, Detroit.