Bruce Babiarz, a spokesman for Detroit's Police and Fire Retirement System, said pensioners welcome any support from the private sector. That pension system has about 8,500 members and, along with the General Retirement System, has been in court-ordered mediation sessions with the city.
"The issues of monetizing the artwork of the DIA or selling elements of the collection outright are matters for the emergency manager to decide," Babiarz said. "The pension funds are creditors of the city of Detroit and the city has not made its obligatory payments to the pension funds for more than a year because of the city's insolvency."
Schaap hopes Rosen's appeal to foundations and others for donations does the trick in offsetting losses and helping retirees.
The DIA's art and city retirees "are two kind of heart-rending issues," he added. "Unfortunately they've sort of come together as a competition between the two."