Two art museums have been at the center of disputes involving their host cities, Detroit, Michigan, and North Miami, Florida. In both cases, the question of who owns the museums’ collections and the museums themselves is at stake. Also in both cases, the interested parties have turned to mediation to break the impasse.
Beginning in Detroit, the city’s bankruptcy put the world-class collection of its art museum, the Detroit Institute of Arts (DIA), in jeopardy. Though the DIA is operated by a nonprofit organization, its valuable collection is owned by the city, a fact that puts it in jeopardy.
Some Detroit creditors have argued that part of the collection should be sold off to help address the city’s $18 billion in pension and other liabilities, writes the New York Times. But local leaders and museum officials have rejected this idea, arguing it would be short-sighted and demoralizing for a city that is attempting to rebuild itself after a devastating fall.