Detroit’s emergency manager, Kevyn Orr, is considering auctioning off the city’s precious art collection to help pay bills.

The Detroit Institute of Arts includes pieces by Vincent Van Gogh and Pablo Picasso.

“The emergency financial manager and the governor have both said that their goal is to leave Detroit stronger after this process,” DIA Executive Vice President Annmarie Erickson said.  “And I cannot believe that anyone thinks dismantling the DIA would leave Detroit stronger.”

The city is over $15 billion in debt, and Erickson feels auctioning off pieces of art will do little to dissolve it.

“We do understand the depth of the city’s financial problems and we do understand that creditors are going to be demanding that the financial manager look everywhere,” Erickson said.  “We are just encouraging the creditors and the EFM to look elsewhere.  There has to be another solution for this.”

The EM has requested an appraisal of the collection, and the DIA has hired an attorney.

No official decision has been made on whether the works of art will be auctioned.