When asked, Snyder fails to embrace bill to protect DIA's art

When asked, Snyder fails to embrace bill to protect DIA's art

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Gov. Rick Snyder said he would "review" a bill to protect the DIA's artwork. Gov. Rick Snyder said he would "review" a bill to protect the DIA's artwork.
LANSING, Mich. (WJBK) -

There is legislation in the hopper to protect the artwork inside the Detroit Institute of Arts.

The Detroit emergency manager has placed the artwork on the table as one possible way to slice the city deficit if it goes into bankruptcy.  Kevyn Orr has not said he will do that, but it remains in play and the concern of the Senate Republican leader, who has legislation to block any sale of any artwork.

Given the chance to embrace the senator's bill, the governor did not.

"I'm happy to review it as part of the process," said Gov. Rick Snyder. "My goal is not to see the art of the DIA disappear. At the same time, it's important to recognize that if you have to do an inventory of the assets of the city, it's an asset of the city."

Some outstate Republicans are not eager to support the legislation, either.

"We need to make sure that the liability that the city is facing has the ability to be paid off," said Rep. Lisa Lyons from West Michigan.

"There are debts to be paid," said Rep. Kevin Cotter, who represents Mt. Pleasant. "I'm certainly not a yes. I'm going to keep an open mind and look for information that may lead me in another direction, but as of right now, I don't see that information."

"I would have to be convinced to be a yes. This is in fairness to the creditors."

Meanwhile the state attorney general also refuses to take a stance on the bill. He is trying to figure out if it is legal. But does he want to block the sale if he can?

"First we're going to complete the review and then we'll talk more about it," said Bill Schuette. "We're going to review this thoroughly and carefully and then probably have another discussion."

The fate of the artwork is now in the hands of the Michigan Senate and maybe eventually the courts.

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