Art Law Report

Detroit Emergency Manager Kevyn Orr Testifies About Impact of Selling Detroit Institute Art Collection

Posted by Nicholas O'Donnell on October 3, 2014 at 6:43 AM

Throughout the Detroit bankruptcy and the attendant speculation about what role, if any, the collection at the Detroit Institute of Arts that is owned by the city should play, a parallel parlor game has been to try to guess what Emergency Manager Kevyn Orr’s endgame and motivation really was. He has dropped hints about the importance of the collection in helping the city emerge from bankruptcy, but his plan of adjustment did not include any sales or loans with the collection as art. Rather, it included what has come to be called the “Grand Bargain,” under which several foundations will pledge hundreds of millions of dollars (as will the State of Michigan) to keep the art safe from liquidation.

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Topics: Financial Guaranty Insurance Corporation, Chapter 9, Syncora Capital, FGIC, Judge Steven Rhodes, Detroit, Detroit Institute of Arts, Bankruptcy, Nathan Bomey, Kevyn Orr, Litigation, Detroit Free Press, Museums, Detroit Bankruptcy, grand bargain

Detroit Institute of Arts Makes Case for Its Art as a Public Trust that City Could Not Sell Even if it Wanted To

Posted by Nicholas O'Donnell on May 29, 2014 at 12:31 PM

After Judge Rhodes denied (as predicted) the expansive relief requested by creditors in the Detroit bankruptcy to perform a top-to-bottom appraisal of the collection of the Detroit Institute of Arts, attention has focused on those creditors’ objection to the “grand bargain” within the overall plan of adjustment. The creditors (and some academics) have argued that the grand bargain is a “preferential transfer,” that it puts some creditors (pension holders) in a better position than other creditors (lenders, in particular) in violation of bankruptcy principles.

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Topics: Old Master, Deaccession, the Ford Foundation, Mark Stryker, Chapter 9, the Fred A. and Barbara M. Erb Family Foundation, the Hudson-Webber Foundation, 11 U.S.C. § 904, Impressionism, Amedeo Modigliani, Michelangelo, the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, the William Davidson Foundation, Judge Rhodes, Christie's, valuation, Scheme for the Decoration of the Ceiling of the Si, Appraisal, Modernist Art, Detroit, the McGregor Fund, Eugene Driker, Detroit Institute of Arts, Bankruptcy, Gerald Rosen, the Kresge Foundation, the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation, Detroit Emergency Manager, Kevyn Orr, Detroit Free Press, eligibility, Detroit Bankruptcy, the Community Foundation for Southeast Michigan

Detroit Institute of Arts Grand Bargain Not Done Yet, Creditors Claim to Have Purchaser Willing to Pay Nearly $2 Billion for Entire Collection

Posted by Nicholas O'Donnell on April 23, 2014 at 11:17 AM

Since reports last month that a grand bargain had been struck to provide an infusion of cash to the Detroit bankruptcy in exchange for conveying the artwork at the Detroit Institute of Arts back to the museum itself, it has been largely accepted that the deal would succeed. The deal would contribute $366 million from several foundations, $100 million from the DIA foundation, and $350 million from the State of Michigan. This air of inevitability is due in large part to the cards that Emergency Manager Kevyn Orr holds: unless Detroit wants to monetize or sell the DIA collection that the city owns, creditors cannot compel the city to do so. This in turn is for factors unique to Chapter 9 bankruptcy, as discussed here previously.

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Topics: Poly International Auction Co. Ltd, Deaccession, Chapter 9, Emergency Manager, Art Capital Group LLC, Judge Rhodes, Christie's, Detroit Institute of Arts, Yuan Management Hong Kong Limited, Catalyst Acquisitions LLC, DIA, Marc Bell Partners, Kevyn Orr, DIA collection, Detroit Bankruptcy

Foundations Pledge $330 Million to Keep Detroit Institute of Arts Collection Safe from Liquidation

Posted by Nicholas O'Donnell on January 13, 2014 at 8:40 AM

Detroit Emergency Manager Kevyn Orr’s plan to monetize the collection of the Detroit Institute of Arts, whether by sale or otherwise, took a large step towards realization today when at least nine local and national foundations pledged up to $330 million to Detroit to keep the collection of the Detroit Institute of Arts safe from sale, loan, or other encumbrance, and also to shore up pension funds Following the release of Christie’s appraisal report, and weeks of rumors that a “grand bargain” was in the works to raise money in exchange for keeping DIA’s art collection out of any plan of adjustment for the city’s bankruptcy, the Detroit Free Press reports today that federal mediator and U.S. District Court Judge Gerald Rosen released a statement outlining the pledge. The foundations identified are the Community Foundation for Southeast Michigan, the Kresge Foundation, the Ford Foundation, the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, the William Davidson Foundation, the Fred A. and Barbara M. Erb Family Foundation, the Hudson-Webber Foundation, the McGregor Fund and the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation.

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Topics: Old Master, the Ford Foundation, Mark Stryker, Chapter 9, the Fred A. and Barbara M. Erb Family Foundation, the Hudson-Webber Foundation, 11 U.S.C. § 904, Impressionism, Amedeo Modigliani, Michelangelo, the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, the William Davidson Foundation, Judge Rhodes, Christie's, valuation, Scheme for the Decoration of the Ceiling of the Si, Appraisal, Modernist Art, Detroit, the McGregor Fund, Eugene Driker, Detroit Institute of Arts, Bankruptcy, Gerald Rosen, the Kresge Foundation, the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation, Detroit Emergency Manager, Kevyn Orr, Detroit Free Press, eligibility, Detroit Bankruptcy, the Community Foundation for Southeast Michigan

Hearing Set On Creditors' Motion to Force an Appraisal Committee for the Detroit Institute of Arts Collection

Posted by Nicholas O'Donnell on December 20, 2013 at 4:48 AM

Following on yesterday's release of the full report and recommendations by Christie's with regard to the collection of the Detroit Institute of Arts, the Bankruptcy Court has set a hearing on the creditors' earlier motion to force appraisal of additional works of art.

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Topics: Chapter 9, 11 U.S.C. § 904, Judge Rhodes, Christie's, valuation, Appraisal, Detroit, Detroit Institute of Arts, Bankruptcy, Detroit Emergency Manager, Kevyn Orr, Detroit Free Press, eligibility, Detroit Bankruptcy

Full Christie’s Report Issued on Detroit Institute of Arts Collection, City Holding the Cards to Push for Negotiated Grand Bargain

Posted by Nicholas O'Donnell on December 19, 2013 at 6:15 AM

After Judge Rhodes of the Bankruptcy Court for the Eastern District of Michigan ruled on December 3, 2013 that the city of Detroit is eligible for Chapter 9 Bankruptcy protection, the city immediately divulged that the report commissioned by the city from Christie’s to appraise the Detroit Institute of Arts (DIA) collection was nearly finished. On the day of the eligibility ruling, Emergency Manager Kevyn Orr and Christie’s announced some tentative conclusions from the report, namely, that the 2,781 works appraised (roughly 5% of the total collection) had a value of approximately $452 million to $866 million. This was considerably lower than many had speculated.

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Topics: Old Master, Mark Stryker, Chapter 9, Scheme for Decoration of Sistine Chapel Ceiling, 11 U.S.C. § 904, Impressionism, Amedeo Modigliani, Michelangelo, Judge Rhodes, Christie's, valuation, Appraisal, Modernist Art, Detroit, Eugene Driker, Detroit Institute of Arts, Bankruptcy, Gerald Rosen, Detroit Emergency Manager, Kevyn Orr, Detroit Free Press, eligibility, Detroit Bankruptcy

Post Eligibility Ruling, Kevyn Orr Reiterates Expectation That DIA will Contribute Revenue to City’s Financial Plan

Posted by Nicholas O'Donnell on December 3, 2013 at 1:47 PM

Just after the Bankruptcy Court held that Detroit is indeed eligible for Chapter 9 bankruptcy, Emergency Manager Kevyn Orr reiterated that he expects the Detroit Institute of Arts to contribute financially to the city’s plan to emerge from insolvency. Said Orr, “We’d like to find a way to monetize the DIA.”

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Topics: DIA collection sale, Detroit, Detroit Institute of Arts, DIA, Kevyn Orr, Detroit Bankruptcy

Detroit Creditors Press Bankruptcy Court for Action on Sale of Detroit Institute of Arts Collection, Motion Likely Premature and Unfounded

Posted by Nicholas O'Donnell on November 27, 2013 at 9:11 AM

Major creditors of the city of Detroit filed a request in the bankruptcy proceeding to hasten the process of evaluating the value of the collection of the Detroit Institute of Arts. The motion raises a few questions, but fundamentally it is off-base: in a municipal bankruptcy the creditors are never going to be able to force the sale of DIA's art. It will ultimately be, as it has always been, the decision of the city through its emergency manager Kevyn Orr. Significantly, though, this is the first actual filing in the bankruptcy related to DIA.

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Topics: Syncora Guarantee Inc., NORD/LB Covered Finance Bank S.A., City of Detroit Retirees, 11 U.S.C. § 904, Syncora Capital Assurance Inc., Dexia Crédit Local, FMS-WM Service, Christie's, valuation, Ambac Assurance Corporation, Appraisal, Detroit, Detroit Institute of Arts, Bankruptcy, FMS Wertmanagement, DIA, Erste Europäische Pfandbrief-und Kommunalkreditban, Hypothekenbank Frankfurt International S.A., Dexia Holdings, Michigan Council 25 of the American Federation of, AFL-CIO and Sub-Chapter 98, Kevyn Orr, Hypothekenbank Frankfurt AG, Financial Guaranty Insurance Company, Detroit Bankruptcy, National Association

Detroit Bankruptcy Eligibility Trial Begins, Art Collection Could Hang in the Balance

Posted by Nicholas O'Donnell on October 23, 2013 at 5:22 AM

Trial begins today in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Detroit over whether the city of Detroit is even eligible for the Chapter 9 bankrupcty protection it sought earlier this year. The major point of contention is whether Detroit may, under the Michigan constitution, seek bankrupcty in a way that would reduce pension payments (as it would reduce payment to all its creditors).

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Topics: American Alliance of Museums, Ford Bell, Detroit, Bankruptcy, Detroit In, Kevyn Orr, Detroit Free Press, Detroit Bankruptcy

Detroit Emergency Manager Expects DIA Collection to Bring Revenue

Posted by Nicholas O'Donnell on October 14, 2013 at 8:29 AM

As the controversy around the possible sale of the Detroit Institute of Arts’ collection continues to swirl, Emergency Manager Kevyn Orr has given some of his most pointed comments to date about his expectations.

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Topics: Diego Rivera, Michigan Attorney General, Judge Rhodes, Christie's, Detroit Institute of Arts, Bankruptcy, Michigan Constitution, Bill Schuette, Kevyn Orr, Detroit Bankruptcy

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