Wednesday, September 11, 2013

And speaking of Mark Stryker's exhaustive history of the DIA

(Last one for tonight, I promise.)  I wanted to break out in a separate post his (excellent) summary of where things stand at the moment:

"The complexity of the situation defies reductive analysis. ... Neither the federal judge in the case nor creditors can force the sale of any asset. However, creditors are pushing for sales to increase the amount of money they'll get beyond the 10 to 20 cents on the dollar Orr is currently offering. In the end, Orr could decide he needs to sell art to get a deal. And if the judge believes the city hasn't done enough to monetize its assets, he can deny Orr's reorganization plan and pressure him to find more cash, which could force a sale.

"The DIA's legal protections also remain unclear. Michigan's attorney general has issued a formal opinion that says a forced sale of DIA art would be illegal because the museum holds the works in the public trust. However, many experts say such reasoning may not hold up in federal bankruptcy court. The DIA has lawyered up, and behind the scenes is preparing for a potential legal fight that could take months or years to resolve. ...

"Some who favor selling argue that it's morally unconscionable to protect the art while city workers may have their pension cuts and city services, including fundamental police and fire protection, remain hamstrung by lack of resources. But those who oppose a sale argue that money would mostly go to Wall Street, that ... destroying one of the city's greatest cultural institutions would leave Detroit weaker, not stronger, post-bankruptcy."

One question:  do you get the sense that the Deaccession Police -- the Day for Detroit crowd -- agree that "the complexity of the situation defies reductive analysis"?