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Rivera mural spared from Detroit bankruptcy sale

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December 7
3:50 AM 2013

Detroit's most emblematic paintings appear safe from sale to satisfy the bankrupt city's creditors, said an article by Businessweek. According to the article, the towering Detroit Industry murals by Mexican artist Diego Rivera donated to the city was not among the Detroit Institute of Arts works appraised by Christie's Inc. for possible liquidation. Businessweek said the British auction house only assessed pieces purchased with the city money. Assessed pieces are worth between USD452 million and USD866 million. 

As Detroit's bankruptcy heads into negotiations to reduce USD18 billion in debt, the fate of the city's collection has drawn worldwide interest. Detroit's museum features works by Bruegel, van Gogh and Cezanne, the article said.

The Rivera frescoes span over 4,032 square feet as is the DIA's signature work. It was commissioned in 1932 by Ford Motor Co. president Edsel Ford for USD20,800, Businessweek said. 

The article said Emergency Manager Kevin Orr ordered the appraisal as part of a tally of municipal assets. Orr didn't want to sell the art, though he wants to leverage its value to help pay for settlement of the state's debts, the report said.

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