Weeks after the city of Detroit released its valuation expert report on the value of the full collection of the Detroit Institute of Arts by Artvest Partners, creditors opposed to the city’s plan of adjustment and the “Grand Bargain” within it have released their own appraisal. Not surprisingly, it asserts a significantly higher value of roughly $8.5 billion, more than double the estimate in the city’s report. New York’s Victor Wiener Associates (VWA) has apparently compiled a 50-page appraisal on behalf of Financial Guaranty Insurance Company (the Detroit News and Detroit Free Press have received copies, none are publicly available of which I’m aware.
This report will presumably serve the inverse purpose of the city’s, namely, to argue that the $816 infusion from the Grand Bargain is an insufficient realization given the collection’s value. Where the city will argue that extracting that amount from a collection worth somewhere between $3 billion and $4 billion is a windfall, these creditors will presumably take the view that the city could have done better.
The chances that the collection will actually be sold have dwindled to almost none. The city cannot be forced to sell it, and Judge Rhodes has already telegraphed his dim view of selling cultural assets. But with the headlines like water being shut off to city residents, expect large numbers like this to play into the debate at the upcoming trial over whether the city’s plan has done enough to address its many creditors and constituents.