Could Ford, Chrysler And GM Bail Out Detroit's Art Museum?

Pay it forward, I guess. Since two of the Detroit Three have been rescued from bankruptcy, they now have the opportunity to help out the city that houses several of their employees. Rumor has it General Motors and Chrysler (and Ford, too) are putting together a hefty donation to the city's troubled art museum.

Even though we've known for months that all signs point to Detroit's art being immune to the city's bankruptcy, officials at the Detroit Institute of Arts are still taking initiatives to safeguard the collection. That includes soliciting donations from heavy hitters, including the region's automakers.

Both the News and the Freep report that at least one of the Detroit Three — we're not sure which one — is mulling a $25 million donation to the DIA. The DIA has asked the three automakers for a total of $50 million.

Even $50 million won't do the trick alone. As previously reported, the DIA needs hundreds of millions to stay afloat, so a deal is already in place for local and national foundations to contribute $365 million, Michigan lawmakers to donate $350 million and the DIA to raise $100 million of its own — all over the next 20 years.

So which car company is fronting the $25 million? It might be Ford, the only of the three to not file bankruptcy and likely the only one to cover half of the automaker's expenses. Or it might be GM, who could certainly use the good PR (and the only of the three actually headquartered in the city). And maybe it's Chrysler, who's betting on their big, five-year plan to rake in the dough. Either way, you can't say the car companies never did anything good for Detroit.