Detroit awaits Christie's recommendations on alternatives to art sale - InfoNews

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Detroit awaits Christie's recommendations on alternatives to art sale

In a photo from Tuesday, Dec. 10, 2013 at the Detroit Institute of Arts in Detroit, the painting "Dancers in the Green Room" by Edgar Degas, a painting owned by the city of Detroit, is displayed. The fate of Detroit’s art is one of the sorer points amid the city's march into bankruptcy. The city purchased many of the pieces in the collection years ago during more prosperous times, which means the works that many consider part of the cultural soul of the city could be considered assets in the bankruptcy to help pay off creditors. (AP Photo/Carlos Osorio)
December 15, 2013 - 10:09 PM

DETROIT - New York auction house Christie's is expected to tell Detroit how much its impressive, taxpayer-bought art collection is worth this week.

Emergency manager Kevyn Orr has said the bankrupt city may have to sell off works in order to help repay creditors, including retired public workers.

A local philanthropist has pledged $5 million to offset expected losses by city pensioners, and there is also a private campaign to raise $500 million to keep the artwork from being sold.

Christie's could suggest alternatives, such as using the art as collateral to secure loans or lines of credit or create a partnership with another museum where Detroit's art would be leased on a long-term basis.

The auction house also said Detroit could establish a trust from which U.S. museums "rent" the art.

News from © The Associated Press, 2013
The Associated Press

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