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The proposal of the new fair in China divided opinion between TEFAF Maastricht  exhibitors and it was announced by TEFAF last week that "a high-end art fair, as presently envisaged, in Beijing is not viable at the current time".

According to a statement released on December 12, the decision was made "reluctantly" at a meeting of the Executive Committee and the Board of Trustees of TEFAF Maastricht last week.

Over the months since March, TEFAF, aided by Sotheby's, had drawn up a "detailed proposal for exhibitors to consider, which had the support and co-operation of the Chinese authorities and fulfilled all the local requirements".

However, this was evidently not enough to persuade a critical mass to commit to the idea.

The statement continued: "Although the art market in China is growing rapidly and there is considerable belief in its potential, the feedback from many dealers indicates that the majority feels that exhibiting in mainland China is something that they would consider at a later date.

"While the interest in and the appetite for Western art is undoubtedly growing, there is a belief that the market for many of the specialisations represented at Maastricht is still evolving."