Well, the city has an extensive collection of masterpieces in their museum, 'Detroit Institute of Arts'. The collection consists of Van Gogh's, Degas, Monet, Rivera's murals, Bruegel, just to name a few!
Therefore, the question has been raised in court, "should the city sell off all their art/masterpieces in order to pay off their debt prior to filing bankruptcy?" Hmmm...it is a complicated matter.
Remember my lectures & writings to you on how art is priced? We discussed who determines the price of masterpieces. Well, it has just been done in Detroit. An art investment firm, hired to determine the price of the city's art collection for the bankruptcy case, has determined that the museum's pieces are worth between 2.8 billion and 4.6 billion!
I find those numbers fascinating. How can you be hired to do a job and have your estimate have a range difference of 1.8 billion? Then there is another issue that they have to deal with and that is...you can estimate the value of the art, but will they actually get that at auction?
Remember I told you in class and in an earlier post that the price of art is a price determined between the buyer and the seller. So, if the art investment firm put a price tag of 24 million on a Van Gogh, that doesn't necessary mean that it will get that much at auction. Then again, it might get 30 million. The price of art in complicated and arbitrary to say the least.
Let's see what happens with the city of Detroit. This is a fascinating story for the art world. So far, my stand on the issue is that the city should not be stripped of its culture. But then again, there are many people who will not have pensions if the city goes bankrupt. It is complicated to say the least. I will continue following the story with great anticipation of the outcome. This is going to be a great discussion to have in class. Take care, Tigers. Love, Ms. B.