Most of the hysteria surrounding the question of what role Detroit’s art plays in the city’s bankruptcy fails to take into account the fact that there are indeed grown-ups in charge of the process as was demonstrated today when Judge Rhodes denied creditors’ petition for a second appraisal of the DIA’s value. Here’s the Detroit Free Press recounting the exchange:
“Whether any of us like it, the art is in play,” said Vince Marriott, an attorney for several European banks.
Rhodes interjected: “I have to say that that is not altogether clear to me at all. It depends on what you mean by ‘in play.’”
Rhodes also said this afternoon that he he’s not sure DIA artwork can be sold to help resolve the city’s Chapter 9 bankruptcy.
The judge reiterated his previous statements that one-time fixes won’t fix the city’s finances. And he called Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette’s opinion that the DIA property can’t be sold a “serious argument” that he would consider.
The politics of Detroit’s bankruptcy isn’t pretty but it is playing out with some measured sense of purpose. At the end, one hopes the city will possess its historical patrimony while still honoring its commitment to employees.
Rhodes rejects creditors’ request for independent valuation of DIA art (Detroit Free Press)