DIA collection valued up to $4.6 billion as voting approaches home stretch

Jul 10, 2014

The Detroit Institute of Arts
Credit Flickr

A new appraisal of the Detroit Institute of Arts' collection has found the works could be worth between $2.7 billion and $4.6 billion dollars. That's a big difference from the $867 million value that Christie's put on the collection last fall.

Detroit News Business columnist Daniel Howes joined us to tell us what he saw in the evaluations.

Howes clarified that the $867 million valuation by Christie’s only looked at 5% of the DIA’s collection, whereas the new appraisal evaluated its entire collection. He also pointed out the caveat attached to the big $4.6 billion number: “If you try to sell big chunks of the collection at the same time, you likely press the prices dramatically.”

"But what’s important to remember in all of this," Howes added, "is about how you extract value from DIA’s art." He said that instead of selling, the 'grand bargain' was another way that's using art to raise cash and create value.

“They are not selling it ... they are raising cash from different constituencies within southeast Michigan, foundations, communities, the state of Michigan DIA donors. And they are doing it for the benefit for the pensioners,” Howes said.

The deadline for pensioners to vote on whether to accept the grand bargain is tomorrow.