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Detroit Institute of Arts Protection Bill Passes State Senate

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The Michigan Senate has narrowly approved a bill that seeks to shield the paintings, sculptures, and other assets of the Detroit Institute of Arts from being sold if the city goes bankrupt.

As we hear from The Michigan Public Radio Network’s Rick Pluta, the legislation faces an uncertain future.

State Senate Majority Leader Randy Richardville says Detroit will need thriving cultural institutions like its art museum to remain attractive and viable following the city’s restructuring.

“The way I look at it, it’s nothing more than an extra layer of protection over some of the more important cultural assets of the state of Michigan,” he says.  “It’s just that simple.”

State Senator Mike Green was a “no” vote. He says no one asset should be protected from a plan to pay off the city’s debts.

“Don’t get me wrong," he says.  "I love the arts and stuff, but when do we stop taking things off the table?”

There’s also some question as to whether a state law can stand in the way of an order by a federal bankruptcy judge.

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Rick Pluta is Senior Capitol Correspondent for the Michigan Public Radio Network. He has been covering Michigan’s Capitol, government, and politics since 1987. His journalism background includes stints with UPI, The Elizabeth (NJ) Daily Journal, The (Pontiac, MI) Oakland Press, and WJR. He is also a lifelong public radio listener.
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