- Associated Press - Thursday, November 6, 2014

DETROIT (AP) - Members of the Japan Business Society of Detroit have pledged nearly $2.2 million that mostly will go toward the Detroit Institute of Arts‘ goal to raise $100 million to prevent the sale of art in Detroit’s bankruptcy and help city pensioners, officials announced Thursday.

The support was announced a day before a federal bankruptcy judge is to decide whether Detroit’s plan to exit bankruptcy is fair and feasible.

“The DIA is a significant cultural icon in metro Detroit and in the state of Michigan, and we are pleased to be able to support their activities,” Hikaru Sugi, president of the Japan Business Society of Detroit, said in a statement.

The latest funding is from 21 businesses, including auto parts suppliers. The museum says 75 percent of the donation will be used for the DIA’s commitment to the so-called grand bargain. The rest will go toward reinstalling the museum’s Japanese collection in a new gallery.

So far, the DIA says it has raised about $87 million for the grand bargain, an $816 million bailout by the state of Michigan, foundations and philanthropists to prevent the sale of valuable city-owned art at the museum and avert even deeper pension cuts.

General Motors, Ford and Chrysler in June said they were kicking in $26 million as part of the museum’s portion of the grand bargain. Japanese automaker Toyota has pledged $1 million. Other support has come from a host of businesses and foundations with ties to the Detroit area.

The museum had planned to reinstall its Japanese art when it re-opened in 2007 after an overhaul. Due to unexpected expenses, however, the museum said there were not enough funds to properly install the gallery. Works currently are on display in an area of Asian art at the museum.

The museum said it is raising money for the Japanese gallery hopes to be able to begin the project next year.




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