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At last year’s Basel fair TEFAF board members were very positive about the future of their Swiss initiative, founded to complement their hugely successful international fair at Maastricht, and many in the art world were stunned at the announcement.

However, an international fair will continue at the venue and details, such as a new name, are currently being discussed by the new organisers. Last week Amsterdam ceramics dealer Dave Aronson, chairman of TEFAF’s executive committee, told the Antiques Trade Gazette: “We no longer organise Basel since we will concentrate solely on Maastricht which is a fair with a strong picture section, general antiques and a broad scope. Basel is strong in certain specialist areas, and that is not the concept of TEFAF.” Basel’s specialities are antiquities, ethnographica and Oriental art.

Mr Aronson added, though, that TEFAF would continue to sponsor and support Basel, perhaps even with limited financial help, but in no way would any new fair be a TEFAF one. He also emphasised TEFAF were not planning any other new fairs and they would concentrate fully on their core product, Maastricht.

But TEFAF board members are not being discouraged from involvement with the new Basel fair and London board member, Oriental dealer Ben Janssens, is among those currently negotiating with the owners of Messe Basel to thrash out details of the new fair. Mr Janssens maintained last week that an international fair would be held in Basel this year from November 13 to 21, the dates already announced.