From Our Listeners

Letters: Selling Art To Save Detroit

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Melissa Block and Robert Siegel read emails from listeners about a proposal to sell Detroit's art to save the bankrupt city.


Now, a few notes about our reputation.


In other words, it's time for your letters. And first, some clarifications.

SIEGEL: First, we got a date wrong on Monday. All week we've been remembering people who served during World War II. And in our story about Jake McNiece, we said he died this past February. In fact, he died in January. Our apologies.

BLOCK: Our next clarification was brought to our attention by Wanda Moran. She's a ranger at Acadia National Park in Maine. In our story about the effects of automatic budget cuts - sequestration - on national parks, we left you with the impression that the road up Cadillac Mountain, a popular attraction, is closed. Well, no longer. That road is open and has been since May 11.

SIEGEL: Finally, at least one of you was moved by our interview yesterday about the Detroit Institute of Arts. The city is broke, and its emergency financial manager is considering selling artwork from the museum to help ease the debt. The collection includes works by Van Gogh, Picasso and Bruegel worth over $1 billion.

BLOCK: Well, count Deborah Holzel of Bath, Maine, as one of those against the sale. She writes: My best friend and I used to hang out there after school, and I had many intense conversations there with friends during college, all of this against a backdrop of great art so familiar that I took it for granted. Detroit's vibrant cultural life has formed its core as much as the automobile and is important now more than ever. Ms. Holzel concludes: I have visions of all of us 60s-types chaining ourselves to the doors of the DIA to save the Bruegel.

SIEGEL: Thanks for your letters. Write to us at and click on Contact Us.

BLOCK: You can also follow us on Twitter @npratc, @nprmelissablock and @npraudie.

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