Saturday, November 09, 2013

"Sources tell Local 4 the dollar amount the EM will need to help clear the city's balance sheet is about $200 million out of the museum."

Suppose that's the worst case scenario -- the museum has to come up with $200 million and then they'll be left alone.  Is that the end of the world, all things considered?  Does the Detroit Institute, minus $200 million worth of work, cease to exist?  The museum has been -- conservatively -- estimated to hold $2.5 billion worth of art.  (And it could be a lot more.)  But even on that conservative estimate, it would come out of this, in a worst case scenario, with 92% of its collection intact.  (And that assumes that 8% would just be sold off completely; what if, instead, they entered into a Fisk-like joint ownership arrangement for some part of the collection?)  Of course nobody wants to lose that 8% (except, I suppose, the people in the city whose museum acquires it, assuming it's a museum that acquires it), but it's important to keep straight what's at stake here.  Assuming Local 4's sources are correct, it seems a little over-dramatic to me to talk about "closing the museum."