If you haven't heard, Detroit’s broke as a joke. The city filed Chapter 9 bankruptcy after a long, unsuccessful fight to avoid any drastic measures. It was the biggest municipal bankruptcy on record. The city had been in a heated fight with the Detroit Institute of Arts, with emergency manager Kevyn Orr eyeing the museum's massive art collection as a possible source of income.
To clarify the situation, the museum isn't like most institutions in the way that it doesn't receive public funding but it also doesn't own its property. According to Wall Street Journal, neither the city of Detroit or the state of Michigan contribute to its operations. However, the DIA's collection and building are mostly owned by Detroit's city government under an agreement. This gray area is why this dispute is so tense.
Following the announcement of Detroit's bankruptcy, the DIA issued a statement:
“Like so many with deep roots in this city, the Detroit Institute of Arts (DIA) is disappointed that the Emergency Manager determined it was necessary to file for bankruptcy. As a municipal bankruptcy of this size is unprecedented, the DIA will continue to carefully monitor the situation, fully confident that the emergency manager, the governor and the courts will act in the best interest of the City, the public and the museum.
“We remain committed to our position that the Detroit Institute of Arts and the City of Detroit hold the DIA’s collection in trust for the public and we stand by our charge to preserve and protect the cultural heritage of all Michigan residents.”
So basically the museum is going to continue to serve until something happens otherwise. Should the city move to liquidate the museum's collection, it would be messy and unprecedented. It has never been done in such a large scale.