Milan’s Miart Art Fair Has Been Postponed Until the Fall as the Coronavirus Crisis Deepens in Italy

Art Paris fair, artmonte-carlo, and PAD Paris are rescheduled but Art Cologne and Art Brussels plan to go ahead in April.

A general view during the Miart Fair 2017. Photo by Pier Marco Tacca/Getty Images.

As flights to Milan are cancelled or half empty, the organizers of the 25th edition of miart, the Italian city’s international art fair, have decided to postpone the event until the fall. Milan Art Week, which sees a host of exhibitions and special projects opening in the city’s art foundations and museums, is also being pushed back from April to September.

“The decision to postpone both events has been made in the interest of the health of visitors and exhibitors, in light of the spread of Covid-19,” the fair announced today, March 6. The fair is now due to open to invited visitors on September 10 and run through September 13. Milan Art Week is due to launch on September 7. The fair says that it has been working with stakeholders to reschedule all related events, which include an Olafur Eliasson project at the Fondazione Nicola Trussardi.

The announcement ends more than a week of speculation about the fair. As Northern Italy saw a spike in infections, the world’s largest design fair, the Salone di Mobile, announced that it would not be taking place in Milan in April just after miart, postponing until mid-June. Other European fairs are also moving their dates. Art Paris, artmonte-carlo, and PAD Paris have also just announced new schedules. Art Paris has moved from its planned dates at the beginning of April to May 28 through 31.

Meanwhile the number of confirmed cases of coronavirus has risen in Italy to 3,800, and the number of deaths stands at 148. France reports nearly 500 cases, and seven fatalities. Today a woman became the first person to die from the infection in the UK.

There are 183 galleries from 20 countries due to take part in miart, including mega-gallery Gagosian.

“We do see this decision as a relief and are supporting the new dates in September. Hopefully it will allow to reorganize and to bring the people involved in the different levels of this edition,” Florian Lüdde from Berlin gallery ChertLüdde tells Artnet News.

Now that art berlin is no longer taking place in September, after its parent company pulled the plug earlier this year, the September slot is, in fact, quite attractive. The new date could give the Milan fair a boost, as it will take place at the very beginning of the fall season of fairs, ahead of Vienna Contemporary, Frieze London, FIAC in Paris, and Artissima in Turin. “Lets take it as a fresh start,” Lüdde says.

Two other prominent April fairs in Europe, Art Brussels and Art Cologne, have both announced that they are planning to go ahead as usual though each has stated the fairs are monitoring the situation closely.

Milan’s museums and private foundations reopened earlier this week after authorities closed many public venues to contain the sudden and rapid outbreak of the coronavirus in the city and across the Lombardy and Veneto regions.

Museums in Milan, like those in Turin and Venice, are advising visitors to stay three feet apart. But visitors are few in number anyway. According to the New York Times, at the Palazzo Reale in Milan, there were 160 visitors admitted by midday Wednesday; its daily average is 1,000.

The decline in visitors is due to health concerns, but tourism to Italy is in sharp decline due to the outbreak. A few airlines have been suspending their flights to Italy. According to the Straits Times, Singapore International Airlines just announced that it was cancelling all flights to Milan until May.

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