The 2020 exhibit of The European Fine Art Fair (TEFAF) had shut down ahead of schedule because an exhibitor tested positive of Covid-19.
The 10-day art, design and antiques fair held annually in Maastricht, Netherlands, which opened last March 05 was scheduled to conclude on March 15, 2020 (Sunday); but shut down last March 11, 2020. TEFAF’s decision to close was made in consultation with city officials of Maastricht, together with the city health authorities and the officials of the MECC Maastricht venue.
Nanne Dekking, chairperson of TEFAF’s Board of Trustees, explained that
”We no longer deem it appropriate to continue as originally planned, given the increasing concerns over the recent developments in the regions around Maastricht.”
The official statement released by TEFAF also stated that they also took into account the growing concern of visitors, exhibitors and staff, particularly in relation to the increasing difficulties presented by travel and transport.
The Unnamed Art Dealer Was in Attendance from March 05 to 07, 2020
Reports have it that the infected exhibitor is an Italian modern art dealer and had attended the fair from March 05 (Thursday) to March 07 (Saturday). Mainly because the first two days are exclusive for VIP guests, while the third day is when the art fair opens to the general public. After which, the exhibitor headed for his hometown on March 08 (Sunday), but was diagnosed as Covid-19 positive the following day March 09 (Monday)
Moreover, TEFAF took the necessary precautions including observations regarding replacing handshakes; guests greeted and bade each other only with elbow bumps and waves.
Still, even at the start, it was evident that the Covid-19 plague would impact the success of the affair. An exhibitor who spoke on conditions of anonymity said that over all, the early shutdown was a good thing. He commented that this year’s attendance was very slow; so much so that during the past three days, exhibitors felt pessimistic.