Detroit's state-appointed emergency manager Kevyn Orr said Thursday the Christie's auction house will finish its assessment of 66,000 art pieces at the Detroit Institute of Arts this month, and he defends including their possible sale in the city's bankruptcy process.
Orr, speaking at the Detroit Economic Club, also said that he pushed forward with the city's bankruptcy filing because his window to fix the city's finances is short.
He says anyone concerned that Detroit's art museum might have to sell off part of its collection should take the lead in finding other ways to pay off the city's debts.
Orr says he has "an obligation to come up with a solution."
On July 18, Orr made Detroit the largest U.S. city to seek bankruptcy protection when he filed a Chapter 9 petition. He says Detroit is insolvent and unable to make good on its debt which Orr pegs at $18 billion or more.
The state hired Orr in March to fix Detroit's finances. He has control over all city spending. His team is currently negotiating with some creditors on paying a portion of the money owed them by the city.
Orr was a partner in the Cleveland-based Jones Day law firm and represented Chrysler during its successful restructuring.
Special Section: Detroit's bankruptcy