- The Washington Times - Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Financially embattled Detroit has called in the Christie dogs, and asked the world famous auction house to appraise several city-owned properties — including parking meters, properties and even Institute of Arts museum artifacts.

For weeks, city officials have attempted to quell talks that officials were selling off part of the museum’s 60,000-plus historical items – including the original Howdy Doody puppet — to help bridge Detroit’s $18 billion budget gap, The Blade reported.

But Monday’s announcement is clear: Christie’s will be affixing estimated sales values to the museum items that are owned by the city, The Blade reported.

It’s a “necessary part” of restructuring, one official said, in The Blaze. Still, city officials are working hard to dispel the notion that appraisals necessarily lead to sales.

“It doesn’t mean that we have any particular plans to sell any particular assets in any sort of fashion,” said Detroit emergency manager Kevyn Orr, in a video posted by YouTube.

The city’s also looking to appraise several parking garages, the Detroit-Windsor Tunnel — and the Coleman A. Young International Airport.

The museum items will remain in the city’s possession during the appraisal, The Blade reported. The DIA houses paintings and sculptures by Van Gogh, Bruegel the Elder and Renoir.

The assessment is due to wrap by October, The Blade reported. The city’s next court hearing on its bankruptcy process is set for Oct. 23.

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