Reporting Vickie Thomas
DETROIT (WWJ) – Is Detroit really for sale? According to some rogue signs popping up around the city, some of its landmarks are.
The large yellow and orange tags read: “Sale: Motor City Going Out Of Business,” and WWJ City Beat Reporter Vickie Thomas says word is they were posted by residents who aren’t happy with Emergency Manager Kevyn Orr, who some say is willing to sell off Detroit’s jewels.
Marked “For Sale” on Wednesday were the Detroit Institute of Arts, the Spirit of Detroit statue and the Scott Fountain on Belle Isle.
“… You gotta laugh a little bit during the pain,” said publicist Rick Manore,
Detroit artist Jerry Vile said he was driving by the DIA when he noticed a sign posted on The Thinker out front.
Although the tag is obviously a prank, he’s concerned that the city’s art collection will actually end up on the auction block.
“That would be a very, very sad day,” said Vile. ”You know, who knows? When you declare bankruptcy, you get to keep your house, but you don’t get to keep everything else.”
“The city is for sale. Detroit is in bankruptcy and it’s being privatized,” he said.
He’s the same artist who erected a giant Crisco can in front of the Joe Louis fist. The piece he calls the “Vessel of Hope” — meant to symbolically ease the pain of the “hammering” the city is taking — is now up for bids on ebay.
In filing for Chapter 9 protection last month, Orr — who was appointed by the state — said Detroit is insolvent, unable to pay off a long term debt estimated to top $18 billion. He asked city creditors and Detroit’s two pension funds to accept pennies on the dollar in money owed them.