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mike-kelley-mobile-homestead

DETROIT, MICHIGAN–In May, the art world was horrified when rumour spread that Detroit’s emergency manager, Kevin Orr, was investigating whether some valuable pieces in the multibillion dollar collection of the Detroit Institute of Art (DIA) – which include iconic works by van Gogh, Picasso and Whistler – could be sold off to cover the city’s $15 billion debt to creditors. Luckily, however, in mid-June, the Michigan attorney general announced that no pieces in collection could be, ‘sold, conveyed or transferred to satisfy City debts or obligations’, which, says Graham W.J. Beal, the British director of the Detroit Institute of Arts (DIA), came as a ‘fantastic relief.’ Unlike most major civic museums in the US, the city of Detroit has, since 1919, owned the building and the collection, while exhibitions, fundraising and daily operations are overseen by the Founders’ Society, a nonprofit institution. ‘Now, we can go back to being the forward thinking, innovative art museum that we are known for,’ said Mr. Beal, sitting under one of the DIA’s large murals painted by Diego Rivera, which depict industry in Detroit in the 1930s, pharmaceuticals, birth and the manufacture of poison gas in World War One. Read more

U2

Invariably the first question people ask when they find out I’m a journalist is who is the most famous person I’ve ever interviewed. When I give them an answer—George Clooney, Tony Blair and Beyonce usually elicit the biggest “oohs”—the follow up is, “Were you nervous?” And the answer is pretty much always, not really. Why? Well I tell people it’s because I am a professional and interviewing people is an integral part of the job description. But honestly it’s because over the years I have developed a strategy to control my nerves when interviewing war criminals, politicians, celebrities and everyone in between; just as the butterflies start flying I remind myself, “Yeah, but s/he isn’t Bono.”

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