In a statement posted to their website late yesterday, the Detroit Institute of Arts (DIA) has affirmed its support of its host city’s Chapter 9 bankruptcy proceeding. Or, rather, its lack of objections to this specific juncture in the process, which would have required any parties opposed to the city’s request for bankruptcy relief to file objections by Monday. Their comments reiterated several key points regarding the nature of municipal bankruptcy and the lack of jurisdiction the Emergency Manager has over non-City assets like the DIA:
The DIA reiterated that it has not been involved in any pre-bankruptcy negotiations with the Emergency Manager, one of the bankruptcy eligibility issues identified by the court. The DIA also noted the court’s limited powers in a chapter 9 municipal bankruptcy case, which focus primarily on the adjustment of the City’s debts, not the rationalization of its property, which is the sole responsibility of the Emergency Manager, who remains subject to Michigan law. Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette has ruled that Michigan law prohibits the sale of the DIA’s collection to pay the City’s creditors.
In continuing to maintain that their assets are off limits in the bankruptcy negotiations, DIA also noted that Detroit Emergency Manager Kevyn Orr’s repeated attempts at suggesting otherwise “further complicate and confuse an already complex proceeding.” The full statement is available on the DIA website.