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Readers of Cassone will know that the Detroit Institute of Art (DIA) has a magnificent art collection, now under threat as the city of Detroit's many creditors attempt to claw back what the deeply in debt city owes them. Probably uniquely, DIA benefits from a tax ('the millage') that local residents voted to pay to keep the museum open.
There are threats to sell off the art collection and threats to use the millage to pay creditors, both of which DIA's lawyers argue would be illegal. The city has reportedly paid Christies, the auction house, to value the art in the museum's collection. Graham Beal, DIA's director, has said he will sue if there is any attempt to sell off the collection, according to the Detroit News.
See 'A city on its knees: Ruins and hope in Detroit', Cassone, April 2012, and Janet Tyson's interview with Graham Beal in Cassone, June 2013 and her update ('Panic in Detroit? DIA fights back' in our August issue.