Michigan Senate Bill Would Protect DIA Art Collection


A Michigan legislative committee has approved a bill to protect the Detroit Institute of Arts collection as the city restructures its debt.

thThe Senate Government Operations Committee on Tuesday approved the proposed law which would amend the Art Institute Authorities Act to require Michigan museums to adhere to the American Alliance of Museums’ code of ethics. The code requires that sales be used “solely for the advancement of the museum’s mission.”

Story continues below.

According to the Michigan news site mlive.com:

As Detroit Emergency Manager Kevyn Orr looks to address the city’s $15 billion long-term debt, he has been exploring the value of the museum’s top masterpieces in what Gov. Rick Snyder has called a fiduciary responsibility to notify creditors of all the city’s assets.

Orr’s spokesperson Bill Nowling has said repeatedly that Orr doesn’t want to sell the museum’s collection, but is obligated to itemize all city assets.

Still, the remote possibility of selling the multibillion collection, which includes Vincent Van Gogh’s 1887 self-portrait, “The Wedding Dance” by Pieter Bruegel the Elder and “Madonna and Child” by Giovanni Bellini, has sparked outrage nationwide.

You can read the mlive.com article, which includes a link to the full Senate committee summary, here. CFR reported May 24 on the DIA being in danger of having to sell the masterpieces in an article here.