In that ever-lengthening narrative titled When Bad Things Happen to Good Museums, few developments are as deeply alarming and as cluelessly self-destructive as the recent suggestion that the City of Detroit, which owns the institute’s building and its collection, should sell some of the art to help cover about $18 billion of municipal debts. Were this to happen, it would be a betrayal of public trust and donors’ bequests and a violation of the museum’s nonprofit status. It also makes no economic sense. The Detroit Institute of Arts is one of the few remaining jewels in Detroit’s tattered identity, and is essential to the city’s recovery.
–In Detroit, a Case of Selling Art and Selling Out by Roberta Smith for the New York Times
I find the plight of the Detroit Institute of Arts always so fascinating.