Detroit Aims to Protect Art from Bankruptcy

Posted on October 30, 2013

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As part of Detroit’s bankruptcy, Christie’s is currently assessing the collection at the Detroit Institute of Arts (“DIA”). In response, museum officials are taking steps in order to safeguard future donations to the museum.

As DIA director Graham Beal explains, selling off pieces from the institute’s collection in order to cover the city’s debts “would be tantamount to closing the museum.” While the future of pieces currently in the DIA’s collection is uncertain, the DIA is taking steps to protect newly acquired pieces.

In order to protect new pieces, Beal explains that the institute will “insert into our deed of gift a line stating that from any sale of the work, the proceeds can only be used to buy more art.” This is a maneuver that many institutions could benefit from, as forced sales are common among University- or city-owned museums.

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