What’s the DIA’s collection worth? We now have an idea.

December 20, 2013
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Jean Siméon Chardin’s “Still Life with Dead Hare” (c. 1760) could be worth between $5 and 7 million.

Earlier this week, New York-based auction house Christie’s Appraisals turned in a 150-page report regarding the value of the Detroit Institute of Art’s collection. The report, requested by emergency financial manager Kevyn Orr as part of Detroit’s bankruptcy procedure, estimated that about 2,800 works bought with city funds could value between $454 million to $867 million, the Free Press reports. These works of art represent a mere 5% of the DIA’s total collection.

U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Steven Rhodes cannot compel the sale of the art. Orr can, however. He has said previously that he expects the DIA to contribute $500 million to repaying Detroit’s debts. However, some experts doubt the the art could earn that much given that this would essentially be a forced sale as well as a negative P.R. move on behalf of the buyer.

“This evaluation didn’t take place in a fair-market value situation,” Beverly Schreiber Jacobym president of BSJ Fine Art in New York told the Free Press. “It’s a liquidation.”

Below, check out an ad for the DIA from the ’70s.

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