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Schuette: State Law Protects Detroit Institute of Arts Assets From Bankruptcy Sale

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Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette has released a legal opinion that says the collection held by the Detroit Institute of Arts cannot be sold if the city goes into bankruptcy.

We have more from The Michigan Public Radio Network’s Rick Pluta.

The opinion says the assets owned by the Detroit Institute of Arts are held in a public trust for the people of Michigan, and cannot be used to pay off the city’s debts. Schuette says in the opinion, “In Michigan, we not only appreciate our cultural treasures, we guard them zealously…”

Detroit emergency manager Kevyn Orr has warned the assets of the DIA could be on the table in the event of a bankruptcy. Orr is in the middle of negotiations with the city’s creditors. He says bankruptcy is an option, but not a certainty at this point.

Official opinions by the state attorney general carry legal weight, but it’s not clear how much this one would matter to 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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