Mark Guarino pokes around the Detroit bankruptcy issue and finds some interesting comments on the question of selling Detroit’s art to reduce the city’s debt. Kevyn Orr, the Emergency Manager of the city, has been evaluating a number of schemes from parking meters to selling abandoned land that might generate cash for the city.
Although Christie’s has been hired to perform an appraisal, there’s no indication the art is being used as anything more than an eye-catching bargaining chip. Then, again, maybe that’s just because no one’s letting their imaginations run wild.
Orr could potentially lease the artwork as collateral to raise money for a loan, says Dennis Enright, a national expert in privatization of government assets with NW Financial in Hoboken, N.J.
“You could create a revenue stream around it. It’s definitely not a normal governmental world activity, but certainly private collectors use their art as collateral and bet it against for their own private interests,” Mr. Enright said.