Nick Gillespie, the editor of the libertarian Reason.com, argues in the Daily Beast that Detroit should just sell the works in the Detroit Institute of Arts.
His opinion has ignited an online donnybrook, as a number of readers argue against Gillespie's proposal and take issue with his grasp of the facts surrounding the emotional issue of art and bankruptcy.
If you really want to make jaws drop in polite conversation, don’t waste your time suggesting that bankrupt Detroit merely stiff its pensioners and creditors harder than John Holmes did his costars in 1976’s "Tell Them Johnny Wadd Is Here." (Editor's note: That is a clunky and weird analogy.)
Instead, suggest that the city unload its little-seen yet high-valued art collection hiding in plain sight at The Detroit Institute of Arts (DIA).
Don’t get me wrong: In its attempts to deal with an estimated $18 billion in debt, Motown will absolutely be giving out buzzcuts worthy of an Army barber to everyone who has ever drawn a paycheck from City Hall or was stupid enough to lend it money. But with a collection valued at somewhere between $452 million and $866 million, the DIA’s collection—featuring pieces by Picasso, van Gogh, Matisse, and other masters—should absolutely be on the market. (Editor's note: Gillespie appears to believe, erroneously, that the entire DIA would be available in a sale, and that its market value is $866 million, tops.)