Elizabeth Blair asked for a little help with her NPR story on Detroit’s wildly varying appraisals of the city’s art:
Marion Maneker, who publishes the Art Market Monitor says the price often depends on the tastes and mood of a collector on any given day.
MARION MANEKER: Nobody can peer into the depths of a billionaire’s soul and know just how valuable a work of art is to that person.
BLAIR: Christie’s was commissioned to appraise only about 5 percent of the museum’s total collection of some 66,000 objects. Some of Detroit’s creditors said that was unfair and that the whole collection should be valued. So the city and the museum brought in another appraiser to do that – Artvest valued it between $2.8-$4.6 billion.
[…]Financial Guarantee Insurance Company, FGIC, has proposed the art be used as collateral for a loan to pay off creditors. Marion Maneker says to understand why the two appraisals are so different, you need to look at who’s paying for them. The smaller value was commissioned by the city and the museum and the bigger one was paid for by the creditor.
MANEKER: What we have here are legitimate appraisals for different clients with different points of view on how the sale would take place.
BLAIR: Maneker is quick to add, if a sale takes place at all. A so-called grand bargain would raise more than $800 million for city retirees, who are also creditors, under the condition the art not be sold. Art appraisers for both sides are expected to testify during Detroit’s bankruptcy trial.
Elizabeth Blair, NPR News.