Auction house appraisers have been summoned to Detroit, which is seeking bankruptcy protection, for the gruesome purpose of assessing the market value of the sprawling city-owned art collection at the Detroit Institute of Arts. The museum could sell paintings and sculptures to help pay civic debts.
Although emergency manager Kevyn Orr has said no such plan has been decided yet, a Detroit metropolitan county on Tuesday threatened to stop distributing property tax revenue to the museum if any of the collection is sold.
Adding to the implacable response, nearly 20 art blogs and websites across the country and abroad banded together Wednesday for “A Day for Detroit.”
The premise is simple and elegant: Use the Internet to a) spread the word to a diverse, international art audience about what could be lost if any sale goes forward; b) suggest that readers expand the process by posting their own links and images to social media sites such as Twitter and Instagram; and c) generate support for the Detroit Institute of Arts by asking readers to click through and buy a museum membership (an individual membership starts at $65).