Detroit creditors push court to value art collection: filing

November 26, 2013
Detroit creditors push court to value art collection: filing

DETROIT (Reuters) - A group of the largest creditors in Detroit's Chapter 9 bankruptcy case are pushing for an independent valuation of the Detroit Institute of Arts' 66,000-piece collection, according to a federal court filing on Tuesday.

This is the first court filing addressing the hot-button issue of selling the DIA's artwork to repay the city's creditors. The city filed for bankruptcy on July 18.

The creditors include Financial Guaranty Insurance Company, Syncora Guarantee Inc as well as the city's largest labor union, American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees Council 25, according to the filing.

In a motion filed Tuesday afternoon, the creditors asked Judge Steven Rhodes to appoint a committee that will consider "a wide range of potential options to monetize the art."

Earlier this year, the city of Detroit hired auction house Christie's to value the art, but creditors said in the filing that the city has not taken steps to "test the market value" of the artwork, which includes works by Vincent van Gogh, Henri Matisse and Rembrandt.

Bill Nowling, a spokesman for Detroit Emergency Manager Kevyn Orr, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

(Reporting by Joseph Lichterman and Deepa Seetharaman)