Detroit’s Big Three automakers have a tough decision to make after the Detroit Institute of Arts asked the companies to donate towards its $100-million pledge to the financially troubled city to aid pensioners and prevent art being sold off.
According to the Detroit Free Press, the DIA recently approached the Big Three and asked them to collectively contribute more than $50 million to the fund. A group of local and outside foundations have already agreed to donate $366 million over 20 years, while the Michigan House Committee may donate $195 million up front to the museum. The DIA has agreed to pay its share and put up $100 million over 20 years to protect the art from being sold and to protect the museum itself, but creditors have their doubts they can pull it off.
DIA director Graham Beal and chairman Gene Gargaro met with the automakers and reportedly asked for $25 million from one of them. Representatives from the company’s told the Free Press they’re seriously considering contributing to the DIA’s fund, but wouldn’t elaborate on amounts. A decision could be reached and announced through the DIA by as early as next week.
“The DIA must be central to any plans for a revitalized Detroit. Both General Motors and the GM Foundation are giving very careful consideration to how we can help preserve this treasure at such a critical time,” a statement released by GM and the GM Foundation said.
The Big Three have a long history of supporting the DIA financially, sponsoring events and other major projects hosted by the institute. There’s a good chance GM, Ford and Chrysler are ready to help the museum out, and with more than $18.5 billion in debt, they’re going to need all the financial backing they can find.