By now you have heard the rumors and read the headlines about Detroit's financial troubles and what it could mean for the Detroit Institute of Arts. Not long ago, Christie's auction house entered the picture by request of the City of Detroit's emergency manager Kevin Orr, and many (including us) saw it as the final nail in the coffin. The DIA has been relatively quiet throughout the whole ordeal, responding only to say that they would be "monitoring the situation." In this month's newsletter, museum director Graham W. J. Beal wrote a letter addressing the questions that he has been asked for months now and once again asserting that the art will not leave the Detroit.
Beal writes, "We have no intention of breaching the most fundamental tenet of the art museum world: that art in the collection can only be sold to acquire more (and better) art," adding that the staff and senior volunteers have had little contact with Kevin Orr's office and that they get most of the "news" from the media like everyone else. He goes on to reveal massive discrepancies in art appraisals and the conditions under which certain pieces were acquired, namely the Tintoretto painting on the ceiling that was purchased "using city's funds...permitted by the Italian government of the time, on condition that it never leave the DIA building."
Beal qualifies the process as being "a complex and confusing situation, with very little in the way of precedent." Click here to read the letter in its entirety and get a better understanding of what's happening from perspective of the DIA.