Detroit Institute of Arts pleased with bankruptcy plan

Museum has pledged to raise $100 million for city pensions

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DETROIT - A museum at the center of Detroit's bankruptcy case is praising a plan that would end the city's role in owning art.

View/download: Plan of Adjustment

The Detroit Institute of Arts says it would take control of thousands of pieces of art already at the museum but owned by Detroit. The DIA, as it is known, has pledged to raise $100 million for city pensions.

DIA Chairman Eugene Gargaro Jr. says it's a "historic day."

Related story: DIA plans to raise $100 million to help bankrupt city

Art has been a controversial piece of the bankruptcy case because many creditors believe pieces could be sold to pay debts. Art has been valued at $450 million to $870 million.

Detroit's plan for the museum is part of a broader bankruptcy strategy released Friday. It must be approved by a judge.

Rod Meloni's blog: DIA art, politics and pain

Full statement from DIA:

The Detroit Institute of Arts (DIA) joins the residents of the City of Detroit, the region and the entire State of Michigan in commending Emergency Manager Kevyn Orr for moving Detroit closer to emergence from bankruptcy by filing a Plan of Adjustment that includes in its terms the "Grand Bargain."

The Grand Bargain, as proposed by the mediators in the bankruptcy, led by Chief Judge Gerald Rosen of the U. S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan, and Eugene Driker, will provide in excess of $800 million for the benefit of Detroit pensioners and at the same time protect the artistic legacy of the City of Detroit by placing unencumbered title to the museum's magnificent art collection and the museum itself, in the DIA, the not-for-profit entity that has long had exclusive responsibility for the management of the museum.

As envisioned by the mediators and Governor Snyder and as now endorsed by Mr. Orr, the Grand Bargain is a win/win/win strategy for Detroit: (1) it  provides for a quick exit of Detroit from bankruptcy by avoiding years of costly litigation concerning the rights of the pensioners and the protection of the Museum and its collection; (2) adds significant benefits to Detroit's deserving pensioners; and (3) safeguards the museum and art collection in perpetual trust for the people of the City, the region and the State.

As a result, the museum will remain and grow as an anchor of Detroit's Midtown neighborhood and will continue to contribute greatly to a resurgent Detroit. As previously announced, to help make the Grand Bargain a reality, the DIA has committed to raise $100 million for the benefit of the pensioners, acting in coordination with the efforts of the foundation community and the State of Michigan.

"Today is an historic day for the City of Detroit and, indeed, the entire State, and we at the DIA are very proud to be a major contributor to the Emergency Manager's and Governor's efforts and to be the custodian of this great museum," said Eugene A. Gargaro, Jr., chairman of the DIA Board of Directors.

List of DIA's most valuable works:

Christie's attached to its Final Report -- released in December 2013-- an itemized list of 406 of the Most Valuable Works with individual values exceeding $50,000. Of these, 11 works accounted for 75 percent of the total estimated value of the Appraised Art:

? Pieter Bruegel the Elder,
The Wedding Dance
$100-200 million

? Vincent van Gogh,
Self Portrait with Straw Hat
$80-150 million

? Rembrandt,
The Visitation
$50-90 million

? Henri Matisse,
Le Guéridon
$40-80 million

? Edgar Degas,
Danseuses au Foyer (La Contrebasse)
$20-40 million

? Claude Monet,
$12-20 million

? Michelangelo,
Scheme for the Decoration of the Ceiling of the Sistine Chapel
$12-20 million

? Neri di Bicci,
The Palla Alterpiece: Tobi as and Three Archangels
$8-15 million

? Giovanni Bellini and Workshop, Madonna and Child
$4-10 million

? Frans Hals,
Portrait of Hendrik Swalmius
$6-10 million

? Michiel Sweerts,
In the Studio
$5-10 Million

Copyright 2014 by The Associated Press contributed to this report. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.