Schuette Releases AG Opinion Prohibiting Sale of DIA Art

CREATED Jun 14, 2013

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  • FILE - In this Nov. 2, 2010 file photo, Michigan Attorney General-elect Bill Schuette speaks in Detroit on election night. The Supreme Court is broadening its examination of affirmative action by adding a case about Michigan's effort to ban consideration of race in college admissions. The court on Monday said it would add the Michigan case, which focuses on the 6-year-old voter-approved prohibition on affirmative action and the appeals court ruling that overturned the ban. The new case will be argued in the fall. A decision in the Texas case is expected by late June. (AP Photo/Carlos Osorio, File) Image by AP

Michigan's Attorney General Bill Schuette addressed the issue of the possibility of artwork held by the Detroit Institute of Arts, and whether it can be considered a property potentially to be sold to pay off debts owed by the city of Detroit.

He issued formal Attorney General Opinion 7272, which concluded:

"It is my opinion, therefore, that the art collection of the Detroit Institute of Arts is held by the City of Detroit in charitable trust for the people of Michigan, and no piece in the collection may thus be sold, conveyed, or transferred to satisfy City debts or obligations."

Previously, Detroit's emergency financial manager Kevyn Orr had stated that Detroit's creditors might consider the DIA's art collection as assets that they could go after, in an effort to collect money that is owed them. The art held by the Detroit Institute of Arts is valued in the millions of dollars.