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Mr Lester announced his new fair at an exhibitors’ meeting at his current flagship fair, the Palm Beach International Art and Antique Fair on February 4.

As with the Florida event, the New York fair, which will cover a minimum of 70,000 square feet, will be held in a grand marquee. Mr Lester is unashamedly aiming to make this the country’s leading event with some 140 eminent international dealers.

He repeatedly cited Maastricht as his model saying: “We want the grand American fair, just like Maastricht. We will replicate Maastricht in the United States and have one great, grand fair a year.”

Lester has long harboured ambitions to move into the North East, but he made no secret of the fact that it was New York City he had in mind and at last year’s Palm Beach fair he was talking of erecting his grand pavilion in Central Park.

Many exhibitors assumed it was a New York City fair at which they were being invited to show, but the organiser made it clear that he had scoured Manhattan and found nowhere suitable for the event he envisaged. Indeed, he described the city as “a town with a multitude of small fairs.”

Before the meeting Lester stated the final decision for location of his New York fair would be up to his exhibitors - the Javits Centre and the Piers in Manhattan were cited as possible alternatives, insurance for a Central Park venue being impossible.

However, it was apparent that Mr Lester had signed and sealed the deal on his Westchester County venue long before consultations with potential exhibitors.

To build the neccessary “advertising war chest” Lester is insisting on a minimum two-year commitment from exhibitors and he promises that this will be the most prestigious as well as the largest quality fair in the land.

Dealers who questioned the out-of-town location were answered with the example of Maastricht and the organiser insisted that, like the Dutch event, his would be a “destination fair, not just for popping in for half-an-hour.” He believes the world’s serious buyers will come to Westchester just for the fair.

Lester insists he is not in competition with any exisiting fair and is no longer interested in New York City since he intends to service the whole of the triangle encompassing Boston, Washington and Chicago.

Emulating Maastricht is a tall order but Lester’s evangelical approach to promotion will almost certainly drum up 140 exhibitors of note. He already has Maastricht founder-exhibitor Noortman signed up on a multiple contract and premier New York picture dealer Richard Feigen will be co-chairman.

The fair itself will be located some 30 miles north of Mid-Manhattan on the campus of SUNY (State University of New York) at Purchase, New York – where Hillary Clinton announced her senatorial candidacy.