Art Law Report

Detroit Bankruptcy Debrief—Judge Rhodes Speaks on the Grand Bargain and the Detroit Institute of Arts

Posted by Nicholas O'Donnell on February 20, 2015 at 6:58 AM

Last year’s biggest art law story was, in our view the Detroit bankruptcy. Nathan Bomey, who along with Mark Stryker formed the essential reporter team on up-to-the-minute updates on the proceedings, interviewed Bankruptcy Judge Steven Rhodes in the Detroit Free Press. The interview speaks for itself, but the highlights to me were:

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Topics: Judge Rosen, Mark Stryker, Chapter 9, Syncora Capital, Financial Guaranty Insurance Co., Judge Rhodes, Christie's, valuation, Detroit, Detroit Institute of Arts, Bankruptcy, Nathan Bomey, Detroit Free Press, Museums, Detroit Bankruptcy, grand bargain

Remaining Creditor Sharpens Knives Over Detroit Institute of Arts Collection Value

Posted by Nicholas O'Donnell on September 25, 2014 at 1:23 PM

After Syncora Capital settled its objections to the Detroit bankruptcy plan of adjustment, it looked like the battle over the Detroit Institute of Arts collection would subside. Not so fast, it turns out. A major contest looms next week with a remaining creditor, Financial Guaranty Insurance Corporation, over the valuation of the collection. Just to recap, the creditors (including both Syncora and FGIC) submitted a valuation of the entire DIA collection that put the value between $8 billion, performed by Victor Wiener Associates, while DIA and the city advanced an appraisal by Artvest Partners and Michael Plummer (who testified last week) putting it at closer to $2.4 billion (after an initial appraisal by Christie's of only part of the collection).

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Topics: Chapter 9, Syncora Capital, Financial Guaranty Insurance Co., Judge Rhodes, Christie's, valuation, Appraisal, Detroit, Detroit Institute of Arts, Bankruptcy, Detroit Free Press, Museums, Detroit Bankruptcy, grand bargain

Syncora Reaches Deal with Detroit and Apologizes to Mediators, Grand Bargain to Protect Detroit Institute of Arts Likely Secure

Posted by Nicholas O'Donnell on September 15, 2014 at 6:53 AM

After months of bitter fighting over the so-called Grand Bargain to infuse the Detroit bankruptcy with hundreds of millions of dollars from (among others) the State of Michigan, 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 to keep the collection of the Detroit Institute of Arts out of discussion for any sale or use as collateral, the Grand Bargain’s fiercest opponent has announced an agreement with the city and the withdrawal of its opposition to the plan of adjustment. This does not completely put an end to discussion about the role of the DIA collection, but for all intents and purposes it will likely be the last of any proposal to collateralize or sell the artwork. The episode also provides a lesson to practitioners about the cost of overzealousness.

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Topics: the Ford Foundation, Chapter 9, the Fred A. and Barbara M. Erb Family Foundation, Syncora Capital, the Hudson-Webber Foundation, the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, the William Davidson Foundation, Financial Guaranty Insurance Co., Judge Rhodes, Christie's, valuation, Appraisal, Detroit, the McGregor Fund, Eugene Driker, Detroit Institute of Arts, Bankruptcy, Gerald Rosen, the Kresge Foundation, the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation, eligibility, Detroit Bankruptcy, the Community Foundation for Southeast Michigan, 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

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

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

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