September 08, 2004
Convention center officials in Detroit are defending the recent purchase of $500,000 worth of paintings to adorn the walls of the Cobo Center. Criticism of the taxpayer-funded acquisition made by the city's Civic Center Department (which operates Cobo) focuses on the center's operating loss, which is predicted to be tens of millions of dollars for the 2004-05 budget. "The Cobo Conference Center houses very key clients like the North American International Auto show, the Society of Automotive Engineers and several other similar events," said a spokesperson for the Detroit Metro Convention and Visitors Bureau. "Given that, it's critical that Detroit enhance the center, particularly when considering all the competition. Obviously, we support efforts to improve amenities throughout the center."