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Detroit Institute of Arts Statement regarding Christies Evaluation and Monetizing the Collection

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Detroit Institute of Arts Statement on Christie's Evaluation

The Detroit Institute of Arts maintains its position that the City of Detroit and the museum hold the art collection in trust for the citizens of Detroit and Michigan. This report mirrors the preliminary report issued by Christies, with the addition of an itemized list. The museum does not intend to comment on the report. An earlier statement regarding Christie's suggestions for "monetizing" the DIA collection has been slightly amended and is below. Beyond that we suggest that specific questions be directed to Christie's.

Detroit Institute of Arts Statement on Ideas for Monetizing the Collection

Four of the five alternatives outlined by Christie's have already been addressed by the DIA in some detail. In most cases, these alternatives will yield a token amount of money, while placing the collection at substantial risk. The only new idea is the "Masterpiece Trust," and it is completely untested. Further complicating the trust alternative is the lack of specifics and the lack of an economic imperative for participation. With some exceptions, museums generally loan works of art free of charge except for packing and shipping fees. How a "Masterpiece Trust" would be received in the museum community remains to be seen. The DIA remains willing to engage in further discussions and is actively supporting the plan developed by the appointed mediators Chief Judge Gerald Rosen and Eugene Driker. The museum continues to be open to all ideas for assisting in the revitalization of Detroit, provided we are able to ensure the safety of the collection we hold in public trust.