The Christie’s appraisal shows that its art would fetch a rel­a­tively small amount, said Michael Ben­nett, who teaches intel­lec­tual prop­erty law at North­eastern Uni­ver­sity in Boston and is a board member at an art gallery there. Ben­nett attended the Dec. 3 hearing in Detroit where U.S. Bank­ruptcy JudgeSteven Rhodes ruled the city eli­gible for bankruptcy.

If the city were to sell off the mas­ters, liq­ui­date its col­lec­tion, it would send a signal to the world it was cashing in on its cul­tural cachet,” Ben­nett said in a phone inter­view. “Its pres­ence on the world stage would be dimin­ished. It would cease to be among the upper ech­elon of world cities with respect to art.”

Detroit needs the art now more than ever to com­fort its citizens.”

 

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