Editor’s note: This statement was released by the Detroit Institute of Arts after Christie’s evaluated Detroit-purchased art at $450 million to $870 million.
DETROIT, Dec. 4, 2013 — The DIA continues to maintain its position that the museum collection is a cultural resource, not a municipal asset, and consequently has no comment on the preliminary evaluation report issued by Christie’s in response to the request from the Emergency Manager of the City of Detroit. The Museum would like to draw attention, once again, to the formal opinion issued by the Attorney General of the State of Michigan that the Museum and the art collection are held in trust for the people of the City of Detroit and State of Michigan. The collection’s true value is in the education and enjoyment of the public. The DIA remains an essential anchor institution in the revitalization of Midtown Detroit and is critical to continued economic growth and community development in Detroit and beyond. The DIA remains hopeful that the Emergency Manager will, consistent with the City’s fiduciary duty as a public trustee, continue to protect the Museum and the collection and oppose any attempts to force a sale, despite the position that some creditors have taken in a recent bankruptcy court filing. However, if the collection is jeopardized, the DIA remains committed to taking appropriate action to preserve this cultural birthright for future generations.