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Fate of Detroit’s Art
Hangs in the Balance

New York Times, by Randy Kennedy

Original Article

Posted By:earlybird, 12/4/2013 11:54:25 AM

With a ruling by a federal judge on Tuesday that Detroit is eligible to enter bankruptcy, the fate of the city’s art collection — one of the finest in the country — now moves front and center in the legal battle over the city’s future. But the judge, Steven W. Rhodes, questioned for the first time the push by some of the city’s largest creditors to sell paintings and sculpture from the Detroit Institute of Arts, a sale that could generate hundreds of millions of dollars or more. While he did not say specifically that the art should be spared,

      


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Reply 1 - Posted by: snowoutlaw, 12/4/2013 11:59:41 AM     (No. 9639852)

From headline I thought muslims´ were going to distroy more art but I see nothing wrong with selling it to the highest bidder.

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Reply 2 - Posted by: artsy, 12/4/2013 12:22:23 PM     (No. 9639898)

Often an art museum shows only a small percentage of their entire collection. They do not need to sell it all, but a reasonable percentage could reap rewards. Then other creative solutions could generate revenue from the remaining collection, such as the mentioned rental program, or renting the facility for very special events.

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Reply 3 - Posted by: MattMusson, 12/4/2013 12:22:59 PM     (No. 9639900)

How much of it is ´walking´ out of Detroit Museums even as we watch?

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Reply 4 - Posted by: janylou, 12/4/2013 12:27:53 PM     (No. 9639915)

Detroit should be forced to liquidate to the bare bones.

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Reply 5 - Posted by: trapper, 12/4/2013 12:28:13 PM     (No. 9639918)

Detroit has an art collection everyone agreed was worth $2 billion ... before it might have been for sale. Now here come the vultures with the low ball appraisals looking to pick up some bargains at fire sale prices. The judge is the only person standing in the way of the looting of these assets by art collectors.

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Reply 6 - Posted by: Periwinkel, 12/4/2013 12:29:52 PM     (No. 9639924)

Most of the people left in Detroit have no idea there is any art anywhere.

I see no problem in selling all of it if that pays the bills. Also the proceeds could go a long way in fixing the pension system...regardless of how much you do or don´t like unions, individual people were promised a pension if they did certain things. Those people lived up to their end of the bargain and now should be paid.

The clear message should be not to be so generous next time and DO NOT elect Democrats to run the place.

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Reply 7 - Posted by: Chuzzles, 12/4/2013 12:48:46 PM     (No. 9639967)

Sell it all!! Not to the vultures, but to decent collectors and such, who will give honest offers and pay what the art is worth.

I would think that Christies or Sotheby would be able to get some serious money.

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Reply 8 - Posted by: LadyVet, 12/4/2013 12:53:35 PM     (No. 9639975)

Now isn´t this just like the NYT´s people, the ones who go to humanist museum "church" on Sunday´s to worship the things in the museum collection, the things created by man. They are less concerned with the things created by God.

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Reply 9 - Posted by: HistoryBuff, 12/4/2013 12:57:00 PM     (No. 9639986)

Call me when they put John Sloan´s McSorley´s Bar from 1912 up for auction.

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Reply 10 - Posted by: Uno, 12/4/2013 1:10:28 PM     (No. 9640013)

San Francisco sez they want the Fist...

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Reply 11 - Posted by: SnowQueen, 12/4/2013 1:18:36 PM     (No. 9640032)

The Democrats and the unions ransacked that city. I won´t cry for them when they´re forced to sell their pretty pictures. As far as I´m concerned, the art is stolen property -- paid for with the blood, sweat, and tears of the hardworking taxpayers and business owners they defrauded and then forced out of town.

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Reply 12 - Posted by: joew9, 12/4/2013 1:19:50 PM     (No. 9640034)

It Economics 101 supply and demand.
If no one will pay "what it´s worth" then it´s not actually worth that much. An art collector should not be asked to pay a dime more than what it´s worth. And what it´s worth is what someone will pay for it. If the art sale is opened up to anyone who wants to buy, it will be sold for what ANYONE is willing to pay and that way it is impossible for art collectors to "loot" it. The only way the art could be sold for less than what it´s worth is if they put restrictions on who can buy it.
The free market determines what it is worth.

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Reply 13 - Posted by: losgatos, 12/4/2013 1:34:57 PM     (No. 9640048)

Let me see. What would I do if I was stone broke and had an art collection to sell? Feed my kids or look at pictures? Tough decision.

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Reply 14 - Posted by: GoDeacs79, 12/4/2013 1:41:31 PM     (No. 9640064)

Did Detroit purchase the art or was it donated? To the extent it was donated, it shouldn´t be sold off just to pay for the mismanagement of a bunch of liberal politicians. People often donate works of art to museums so the general public can enjoy it and I doubt the donors had any idea it would just be converted to cash to pay bills.

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Reply 15 - Posted by: P51DMustang, 12/4/2013 1:55:21 PM     (No. 9640087)

The Art in Detroit belongs to the people. All the pieces were paid for and cared for by tax dollars.

The best solution is to find a repository to care and preserve the arts works. The Art should not be sold. Would not want to see Rat cronyism set in, which it would if the Art was sold.

Instead, the Art Institute should be run by a skeleton staff. On a monthly basis, bring out some really special pieces from the repository and put them on display. Charge $25 a head to see the works.

To coin an old adage, absence makes the heart grow fonder. Works with art as well.



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Reply 16 - Posted by: harper, 12/4/2013 2:05:34 PM     (No. 9640095)

To many of the citizens of Detroit, Art is nothing more than the name of the last cracker they mugged.

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Reply 17 - Posted by: NorthernDog, 12/4/2013 2:26:34 PM     (No. 9640122)

When an individual goes bankrupt they usually cannot keep valuable assets shielded from the bankruptcy proceedings. A municipality should operate under the same rules. Auction it off to the highest bidder.

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Reply 18 - Posted by: KTWO, 12/4/2013 3:10:51 PM     (No. 9640194)

#18 hits the mark. So does #1. The art will still exist, it will just be owned by others.

Who would be robbed? What would be plundered?

Detroit is not what is was and that Detroit won´t be back.

But whether Rhodes lets the art be sold or not there is no magic that will mend all parties. If there was a robot could preside.

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How do you ensure that you won’t be ostracized, denounced, or fired if you are a media celebrity, captain of industry, or high public official? For some, sexist banter is certainly no problem. Stand-up comedian Bill Maher called Sarah Palin a c–t and a tw-t, but suffered no ill consequences. David Letterman joked on air that Sarah Palin’s 14-year-old daughter had had sex with Alex Rodriguez during a New York Yankees game. There was no downside to that either. President Obama tosses around “sweetie” as he wishes. No problem with that. No one believes Barack could be condescending to women.

   

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