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Detroit Institute of Arts - saved at last?

— January 2014

Associated media

Exterior view, the Detroit Institute of Arts. Photo: DIA

It seems that a deal has been struck to safeguard the holdings of the Detroit Institute of Arts (DIA). In brief, the City of Detroit has pension obligations to thousands of workers which it does not have the funds to meet. The local government wanted to sell DIA's collections to raise the money. The trust that runs DIA has been fighting to avoid this. As reported in Cassone yesterday, a group of philanthropical organizations has joined the negotiations and it seems that the loss of the collection may have been averted. Under a new deal, DIA will pay the city hundreds of millions of dollars over a period of years. This money will be raised by the philanthropical backers. The aims of the agreed plan are:

– to substantively support Detroit and its citizens in the effort to revitalize and renew the city

– to help the city honour its commitments to retirees

– to preserve the Detroit Institute of Arts collection for the benefit of the people and economy of southeastern Michigan.

Cassone hopes that this solution will work, though it would appear to leave open the problem of what will happen if sufficient funds cannot be raised over the next few years. It also would seem to leave the door open for other museums to be faced with similar demands in future.

For a list of our previous articles on DIA, see 'Philanthropists rally round Detroit Institute of Arts'.

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