Detroiters protest possible sell-off of DIA art to pay city’s bills.

More than 200 protesters gathered in front of the Detroit Institute of Arts (DIA) to protest the possible sell-off of the museum’s collection to help settle the city’s debt during bankruptcy proceedings.

The Motor City filed for Chapter 9 bankruptcy protection in July 2013, making it the largest municipal bankruptcy in U.S. history and as part of the city’s asset audit, saw Emergency Manager Kevyn Orr hire Christie’s auction house in August, at a reported fee to the taxpayer of $200,00, to asses the collection in preparation for a possible sell-off.

In a recent Detroit News editorial published on September 29, columnist Nolan Finly informed Metro Detroiters, “Face it, DIA artwork will be ‘monetized'” and that his sources who are ‘at the top’ of the decision-making in the bankruptcy process tell him, “…without question, that at least part of the collection will have to be — their word — “monetized” before the bankruptcy is resolved.”

Efe Bes, Detroit residents since 1958, plays the drums outside the Detroit Institute of Arts as more than 200 protesters gather to protest the possible sell-off of the museum's collection to help settle the city's debt during bankruptcy proceedings.

Efe Bes, Detroit resident since 1958, plays the drums outside the Detroit Institute of Arts during the rally.

More than 200 protesters gather in front of the Detroit Institute of Arts to protest the possible sell-off of the museum's collection to help settle the city's debt during bankruptcy proceedings.

Some citizens are speaking out against the notion of their museum’s collection being sold-off to the highest bidder and are taking to the streets to let the Emergency Manager and his team know about it.

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Taylor (no last name given), Detroit resident, marches outside the DIA. In August, Emergency Manager Kevyn Orr hired Christies auction house at a reported fee of $200,00, to asses the collection in preparation for a sell-off.

Protest against possible sell-off of art at the Detroit Institute of Arts to pay ciy's debts.

More than 200 protesters march in front of the Detroit Institute of Arts to protest the possible sell-off of the museum’s collection to help settle the city’s debt during bankruptcy proceedings.

Protest against possible sell-off of art at the Detroit Institute of Arts to pay ciy's debts.

Michael Hogan, Detroit resident watches from across Woodward Avenue as protesters march outside the Detroit Institute of Arts. Hogan tells me, ” It’s the people’s art and shouldn’t be used to pay for the mismanagement of the city’s finances.”

Protest against possible sell-off of art at the Detroit Institute of Arts to pay ciy's debts.

Jarod Bardon, Troy resident, looks out over the protest outside the Detroit Institute of Arts from atop the museum’s step-waterfall at the entrance on Woodward Avenue.