Art

Coronavirus - Art Basel Hong Kong Cancelled

Editorial Staff 10 February 2020

Coronavirus - Art Basel Hong Kong Cancelled

The fine art event is a fixture of the global market - often a bellweather for how high net worth individuals think about their wealth. It is also an example of how this health crisis is disrupting events and international supply chains.

The coronavirus outbreak in China has prompted organisers of the Art Basel Hong Kong programme – one of the major fine art events around the world – to call it off, reports said.

Switzerland’s MCH Group, the event organiser, reportedly said it had to cancel the event, scheduled for 17-21 March, because it was worried about the health of people taking part in the programme, as well as the logistical challenges and rising disruptions to travel.

The fine art programme is the sort of event that the virus outbreak, originating in the Wuhan region of China, has disrupted. Already, economists predict that global economic growth will be dragged down by the crisis. Sectors, including airlines and luxury goods/services providers, have already been hit.

Art Basel cancelled its Hong Kong fair late on Thursday as a result of the “outbreak and spread” of the virus, which originated in Wuhan, China. Art Central, a satellite fair, subsequently announced its decision to cancel as well, “to protect the health and safety of all participants,” according to a statement on its website (source: Barrons, 7 February, others). 

Reports said that Art Basel Hong Kong was due to bring 241 galleries from 31 countries to the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre. Last year the fair attracted 88,000 visitors.

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