Detroit hires Christie's to appraise art collection
By Chris Isidore@CNNMoneyAugust 5, 2013: 5:35 PM ET
NEW YORK (CNNMoney)
Detroit has hired auction house Christie's to appraise its world-class art collection, raising the possibility that the bankrupt city may sell some artwork to help pay the bills.
Kevyn Orr, the emergency manager overseeing the city's finances and bankruptcy, said Monday that the appraisal of the work in the Detroit Institute of Arts Museum is necessary, even though there is no plan to sell the art.
"This valuation, as well as the valuation of other city assets, is an integral part of the restructuring process," Orr said in a statement. "It is a step the city must take to reach resolutions with its creditors."
Detroit has $18 billion in liabilities, and Orr has proposed cutting $11.5 billion of that debt down to only $2 billion. That could mean deep cuts in pension benefits promised to city employees, retiree health care coverage and payments due to holders of the city's bonds.
Beyond the financial problems, the city has severe problems with basic services, including long delays for police to respond to calls and many street lights being shut off to save money.