July 26 2013
At some point in the past two months, Christie’s auction house sent two employees to Detroit to assess DIA’s collection, according to two sources with knowledge of the trip. The employees did not meet with museum leadership during their visit.
Which I guess means they just turned up and went in, clipboard in hand. I hope they bought a ticket.
The auction house did not show up uninvited, according to a source familiar with the situation, but it is unclear who requested Christie’s services. A spokesman for the city manager Kevyn Orr says his office was not involved. He says he is “unaware” if any of the city’s creditors were behind the request, though several sources suggest this is the most likely explanation. A spokeswoman from Christie’s declined to comment.
Update - a reader writes:
I know the body isn’t even cold yet but, if the collection does end up on the block, there’s one particular painting this country should pursue as it holds a unique place in our cultural history [Whistler's Nocturne in Black and Gold, the picture in the Ruskin court case].