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September 08, 2015

Taubman Art Sale Means No Bequest for Detroit Museum

The Detroit Institute of Arts, which has long enjoyed support from billionaire philanthropist A. Alfred Taubman, will not receive a direct gift from the shopping mall magnate's estate but will remain a beneficiary of his foundation, the Detroit Free Press and The New York Times write.

A Taubman family spokesman confirmed Friday that eight paintings from the late property developer's collection now hanging at the museum on loan will be removed and sold as part of an upcoming Sotheby's sale of the entire Taubman trove that is expected to fetch some $500 million. The spokesman, Christopher Tennyson, said Mr. Taubman told institute leaders before his death that the works would not be left to the museum.

However, Mr. Tennyson said the institute would likely be a future focus of giving by the A. Alfred Taubman Foundation, which will receive a large chunk of auction proceeds. Mr. Taubman, who died in April at the age of 91, was a major patron of the museum, a wing of which is named for him.