(WXYZ) - Emergency Manager Kevyn Orr is getting appraisals on 60,000 works of art at the Detroit Institute of Arts and other Detroit City assets as he is about to move into negotiations with creditors.
His own financial report shows Detroit has $15 billion in long term debt. The value of the assets could also be in the billions.
The President and CEO of the DIA, Graham Beal tells 7 Action News "We will do what's necessary to protect them whatever that is."
The DIA has already hired a New York Bankruptcy attorney, but Graham says a Chapter 9 process is an unknown especially on this scale for the City of Detroit and the DIA.
"This has never happened before, " Beal says.
It is already getting attention around the world, not just the art world. A Detroit bankruptcy would be the largest in U.S. history.
A spokesman for the Emergency Manager said in a statement there are no plans to sell any assets now.
"The emergency manager has alerted certain assets, including the DIA, that they might face exposure to creditors should the city be forced to seek Chapter 9 bankruptcy protection."
What those other assets are is not clear, but could be Detroit libraries, Belle Isle, the water department and The Manoogian Mansion, home of the Detroit Mayor.