Detroit may be desperate and drowning in financial debt, and its residents want to help - but they're going to keep their art. And they can all thanks to a bill approved on June 11th by a vote of 24-13 that says Michigan art institutes must adhere to the American Alliance of Museums' code of ethics. Sales of collections must only be used for "acquisition or direct care of collections." This protects the Detroit Institute of Arts for the time being.
Detroit emergency manager Kevyn Orr said the DIA's collection could be sold if Detroit goes into bankruptcy in order to satisfy creditors. This prompted the proposed bill to protect the DIA and its assets. As expected, opposition towards the sale of DIA art collections came quickly.
Oakland County Executive L. Brooks Patterson said, "It would be a tragedy of immense proportion to take this asset, liquidate it and put it toward the city debt."
Many agree. The over $15 billion dollars of debt will not be solved through the pawning off of Detroit's valuable art collections. This, to many, is irresponsible and unwise.
And while this bill may bring a sigh of relief to Michigan residents, let's hope it lasts. An aggressive creditor may actually be able to file a motion to override the bill.
For more information about the DIA, please visit www.dia.org.