The Post’s Dec. 5 Style piece “In Detroit’s plight, hope for saving art?,” on ways to treat art with the same respect we pay to our natural resources, was a welcome relief from today’s overwhelming commercialism.

For decades the environment has been protected by easements and other legal devices by many local and national organizations. It is high time that we think of similar ways to prevent art from being bartered. A Bierstadt painting is as important to our cultural legacy as a wetland is to our environmental legacy.

The fate of Detroit’s art museum is a wake-up call that may spur interest in thinking of new ways to respect art and protect it from the vagaries of the marketplace.

Ann Satterthwaite, Washington