A compromise deal has been agreed between rival Paris fair organisers the Syndicat National des Antiquaires – the national dealers’ association, which stages the Biennale and the Salon du Collectioneur at the Carrousel du Louvre – and SOC (Société d’Organisation Culturelle), the commercial company (owned by Paris dealers Patrick Perrin and Stéphane Custot) which stages the twice-yearly Pavillon des Antiquaires et des Beaux Arts in the adjacent Tuileries Gardens.
The two bodies had been in dispute over date clashes for their September fairs. SOC had been keen for its autumn fair, also known as the Salon d’Automne, to overlap with the 2004 Biennale. But, after State pressure, believed to reflect the wishes of French President Jacques Chirac, SOC has agreed to alter its fair dates to avoid a clash (the new dates have yet to be announced). In odd-numbered years, however, SOC will continue to stage its autumn fair at the same time as the Salon du Collectionneur (as happened last September).
SOC’s next Pavillon des Antiquaries et Des Beaux Arts will run in the Tuileries March 27 – April 4, and feature around 90 dealers.
Meanwhile Syndicat President Christian Deydier has announced plans to revamp presentation at this year’s Biennale. The spacious entry foyer, hitherto dominated by small booths advertising magazines and publishers, will become an integral part of the fair, hosting the stands of several dealers. Another change will see all jewellers grouped together on the foyer mezzanine. A proposal to exclude jewellers from the Biennale altogether was rejected at a meeting of Syndicat officials in January. The 2004 Biennale will be considerably longer than the 2002 edition, running from September 14-28, with opening hours from 11am-9pm (11pm on Mondays and Wednesdays).
• This year’s Paris Salon du Dessin (Drawings Fair) will be held for the first time in the Palais de la Bourse (Stock Exchange) – an elegant neo-Classical building near the Hôtel Drouot. Eight London dealers will be among the Salon’s 29 exhibitors. The Salon runs from March 17-22.