Philanthropist offers $5M toward protecting Detroit museum's collection amid city's bankruptcy - InfoNews

Current Conditions

-4.2°C

Philanthropist offers $5M toward protecting Detroit museum's collection amid city's bankruptcy

In this Sept. 13, 2011 photo, A. Paul Schaap stands on the fourth floor of the A. Paul Schaap Chemistry Building and Lecture Hall on the campus of Wayne State University in Detroit. Schaap was a chemistry professor for 30 years at Wayne State University. Schapp is pledging $5 million and hoping to spark a wildfire of private financial support to protect valuable art from being sold to pay creditors in Detroit's bankruptcy. (AP Photo/Detroit Free Press, Eric Seals) DETROIT NEWS OUT; NO SALES
December 06, 2013 - 12:16 PM

DETROIT - A former Detroit university professor is pledging $5 million and hoping to spark a wildfire of private financial support to protect valuable art from being sold to pay creditors in the city's bankruptcy.

A. Paul Schaap said he wants to help the Detroit Institute of Arts as well as retirees whose pensions could be cut as part of the city's plan to eventually exit Chapter 9 bankruptcy. Art purchased over the years with city money could be pursued as assets that should be sold to pay off a portion of $18 billion in long-term debt.

Schaap and wife Carol want to prevent that from happening.

"I believe there are more than just a few people in the metro Detroit area who would step up and see this as something we should all try to do to save the pensions and stabilize the DIA," Schaap said in an interview Friday.

Detroit emergency manager Kevyn Orr hasn't said whether he will sell art as part of any bankruptcy reorganization plan. New York auction house Christie's said art purchased with city money is worth $450 million to $870 million. It's just 5 per cent of all art at the Detroit Institute of Arts.

"We have a passion for the city," said Schaap, who lives next door in Grosse Pointe Park and was a Wayne State University chemistry professor before starting his own technology company. "We go to the DIA, the symphony, ballgames. We're Detroiters. Maybe this is a way to help."

Schaap, 68, said he was meeting Friday with U.S. District Judge Gerald Rosen, who is serving as chief mediator between the city and its creditors while the bankruptcy case moves forward. The Detroit News and Detroit Free Press have reported that Rosen has reached out to foundations and wealthy people to try to raise as much as $500 million to protect the museum and assist pensioners.

Schaap said he read about Rosen's effort and decided to step forward and speak publicly. The judge and others in the philanthropic community have declined to comment.

"I've already heard from people who can't give that much but want to contribute," Schaap said, referring to his $5 million. "We will be looking for a mechanism to make that possible."

___

Follow Ed White at http://twitter.com/edwhiteap

___

Information from: Detroit Free Press, http://www.freep.com

News from © The Associated Press, 2013
The Associated Press

  • Popular vernon News
  • Comments
  • Pier 1 closing all of its stores in Canada
    Pier 1 Imports, Inc. announced today that it has entered into bankruptcy protection and is pursuing a sale. The retailer  commenced voluntary Chapter 11 proceedings in the U.S. Bankrupt
  • Vernon's Atlantis waterpark gets a new name
    A popular Vernon waterpark is starting its transformation with a new name. Formerly known as Atlantis Waterslides, the waterpark, located north of the city along Highway 97, has been renamed
  • Killing of 7-year-old girl stokes anger in Mexico
    MEXICO CITY - The killing of a 7-year-old girl on the southern outskirts of Mexico City has stoked rising anger over brutal slayings of women, including one found stabbed to death and skinned earl
  • Mammoth's tooth found in Williams Lake and preserved for decades by B.C. family
    What was once part of a mammoth-sized smile now is a very old conversation starter in Bryan Johnson's Vancouver home. Johnson's stepfather found a mammoth tooth in a creek at the sou
  • Vernon family captures mesmerizing melting ice
    A Vernon family was on their way home from Kelowna when they made a pit stop after noticing a beautiful scene along Wood Lake. Matthew Royal and his daughters noticed how “cool”
View Site in: Desktop | Mobile