Michigan Attorney General Speaks Up About Potential Sale of DIA’s Art

(courtesy michigan.org)

(courtesy michigan.org)

Bill Schuette, Michigan’s attorney general, issued a formal statement saying he believes that Detroit’s emergency manager cannot sell the holdings of the Detroit Institute of Arts to help settle the city’s debts.

The statement, which can be read in full here (thanks to The TimesArtsBeat blog for the link), concludes that “the art collection of the Detroit Institute of Arts is held by the city of Detroit in charitable trust for the people of Michigan, and no piece in the collection can thus be sold, conveyed or transferred to satisfy City debts or obligations.”

The emergency manager, Kevyn Orr, has said that all of the city’s assets could potentially be used to pay off Detroit’s creditors. Mr. Schuette’s opinion, according to the Detroit Free Press, “provides persuasive support for the museum, and marks the state’s top law enforcement official as an ally should the conflict wind up in court.”