TEFAF Maastricht Finally Cancels 2021 In-Person Fair
View of TEFAF 2014. Photo: Kleon3/Wikipedia Commons.
May 20, 2021 at 11: 37am
After postponing the event several times, organizers of TEFAF Maastricht, the European Fine Art Fair, which typically takes place each March in the Netherlands, have canceled the 2021 in-person edition. The decision was taken even as fairs such as Frieze New York and Art Basel Hong Kong open around the globe this month. TEFAF Maastricht organizers initially pushed the event to May, then moved it to September; in a statement released yesterday, however, they cited “current global circumstances” as the cause of the cancellation.
“TEFAF is focused on gathering our community of dealers, collectors, and vendors for our signature fair experience in a physical setting as soon as circumstances allow,” said TEFAF chairman Hidde van Seggelen in a statement. “In the meantime, we are excited to present a new and improved edition of TEFAF Online this September, and look forward to coming together in Maastricht for TEFAF’s 35th anniversary next March.” The online version is slated to take place September 9–13, as originally scheduled.
TEFAF Maastricht was criticized last year after the event went ahead as Covid-19 struck Europe, and an exhibitor reported testing positive for the virus. Though the fair shuttered four days early, at least twenty-five of the 28,500 attendees reported being sickened, prompting charges that the organizers had been “irresponsible” in allowing the event to happen. The fair was one of the last such events to take place before the coronavirus forced a global shutdown of affairs of scale. Its cancellation this year raises questions as to whether Art Basel will take place in Switzerland September 23–26, as currently planned.