A new appraisal of the Detroit Institute of Arts' collections places a value of $2.7 billion to $4.6 billion on artworks that some of the city's creditors want sold to settle municipal debts.
With a federal bankruptcy trial set for August, Detroit and the museum commissioned the appraisal from Artvest Partners in New York. Their report notes that the values placed on the artworks would not likely be attained on the market considering the forced nature of the sale, possible lawsuits from donors, and other factors such as fluctuating market taste for some of the works.
A previous appraisal of a part of the DIA's collection pinned the value at $454 million to $867 million for some key works in the collection, from Rembrandt to van Gogh, that had once been bought by the city. To keep these works from bring sold as city assets to alleviate debts, private foundations and the state have pledged $800 million in a deal dubbed the grand bargain. City creditors protested, saying the numbers were underestimated, a point that will be hashed over in the upcoming trial.