Free Press: Grand Bargain In The Works To Spin Off DIA And Reduce Pension Damage

December 04, 2013, 10:28 PM

The Free Press reports a unprecedented deal is in the works that could change the course of Detroit's bankruptcy and the ownership of one of the state's premiere institutions, the Detroit Institute of Arts.

According to story by John Gallagher, Mark Stryker and Nathan Bomey:  

"Some of the city’s most powerful leaders are working furiously to fashion a grand bargain in which nonprofit foundations would put up $500 million to spin off the Detroit Institute of Art from the city, and that money would be used to reduce pension cuts and help rebuild city services."

Here's what would happen if the deal goes through:

The DIA would be established as a nonprofit, independent of city ownership and the foundations. The proposal would save the DIA’s irreplaceable treasures from creditors seeking billions of dollars from the bankrupt city. The goal is to ensure that the museum never again falls prey to the city’s financial woes or politics.

The proposal in one swoop could solve two of the most vexing and controversial problems in the bankruptcy — paintings and pensions —and pave the way to a speedier resolution of the bankruptcy.

Chief U.S. District Judge Gerald Rosen, left, is behind the talks.

He is the federal mediator who is pushing some of the country’s largest charitable foundations and their smaller local cousins to pony up about $500 million. The money would effectively buy the DIA and its art out from under city control, establishing the DIA as an independent nonprofit.

The Detroit News reported on the discussions in a Nov. 14 story.

Read more:  Detroit Free Press

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