petition aims to make Detroit Institute of Arts a national monument, save collection

DETROIT (WXYZ) - An online petition aims to make the Detroit Institute of Arts a National Monument, preventing the sale of its artwork.

With over 3,900 signatures, the petition created by Donald Handy has nearly reached it's goal of 4,000. Handy says "I am a native Detroiter, and I love the Detroit Institue of Arts. The thought of losing its collection--especially the Diego Rivera murals--is heartbreaking." 

Earlier this month Detorit Emergency Manager Kevyn Orr hired Christie's to appraise a portion of the DIA's collection.

It sparked fear that the priceless collection could be sold to help the city pay back some of its $18 billion long term debt.

Handy and other metro Detroiters is attempting to gain the attention of The House of Representatives, The Senate and President Obama.

His petition reads:

"There is talk of selling art owned by the City of Detroit, contained within the Detroit Institue of Arts, to pay off the city's debt. This to me would like [sic] New York City selling the Statue of Liberty, or Washington D.C. selling the Washington Monuments. If we designate the Detroit Institute of Arts, including all of the treasures within, as a national monument, this would protect and preserve them for future generations."

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