From The Detroit Free Press: ‘DIA’s Art Collection Could Face Sell-Off To Satisfy Detroit’s Creditors’

Full piece here.

The city’s finances are worse than realized, the corruption deeper, the rot more thorough, leaving many interests still unwilling to face bleak reality.  It’s been a long, slow decline, and it may come down to hawking the city’s art collection:

‘The DIA is unusual among major civic museums in that the city retains ownership of the building and collection while daily operations, including fund-raising, are overseen by a nonprofit institution.’

Many collectors who donated to the museum have put restrictions on their donations, so if it gets that far along there will be much confusion as to what can and can’t be sold, and where the proceeds would go.

Detroit’s industry is gone, and unlike New York City, which still has a diversified portfolio and a tax base to squeeze during tough times, Detroit has virtually nothing to fall back on.  It’s a ghost town:

“New York went into receivership, (and) nobody forced it to sell Central Park,” Nowling said. “We’re certainly going to make that argument that they’re jewels of the city that are just inherent to the city itself that we need to have. But people need to be prepared.’

Be prepared.

Detroit’s not too big to fail, the argument a delegation of mayors pleading to the Federal Government and the Ford Administration made for the Big Apple back in 1975:


Perhaps this is why Mayor Bloomberg got so angry recently when the taxi deal got blocked. The budget he’d prepared relied on similar gimmicks. Even NYC can probably only placate some voting blocs for so long with limited revenue.

***As for budget gimmicks on the national level, green schemes and union deal failures have been swept quietly under the rug.  Our deficits are getting scary.  Unemployment remains high.  Our politics remains deeply partisan, and by many appearances, nearly dysfunctional at the moment.

Addition: As a reader points out, the NY metro area is growing.  Yes it’s growing, but its politics is badly in need of updating, and like other major American cities, has its share of patronage, rot, and cronyism.  It is a world city as well.

Hipster hope, artists, collectivists and small business types can’t save it either:  A Short Culture Wars Essay-Two Links On Detroit & ‘Ruin Porn’

What about the popular arts and culture?:Update And Repost-From Grist.Org Via The New Republic Via The A & L Daily: ‘Getting Past “Ruin Porn” In Detroit’…A Few Thoughts And A Tuesday Poem By Philip Levine

GM is not a municipality, but good money got put in, probably after bad and it reeks of politics: From The Detroit News: ‘How The Treasury, GM Stock Deal Got Done’

Walter Russell Mead takes a look at the blue model (the old progressive model) from the ground up in NYC to argue that it’s simply not working.  Check out his series at The American Interest.

Via Youtube: Ric Burns—New York: A Documentary Film – Episode One: The Country and The City (1609-1825)

A museum industrial complex…more complexes…who are the people museums should be serving? James Panero At The New Criterion: ‘Time to Free NY’s Museums: The Met Responds’

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