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La Biennale Paris was scheduled for September 18-22 at the Grand Palais but has now been called off. Photo: Florent Drillon.

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Due to run in September, it is the latest in a long line of major international fairs to be called off due to Covid-19, although it was initially hoped that it would be clear to take place by the autumn.

President of the Biennale, Georges de Jonckheere said that the decision had been reached with Anisabelle Berès-Montanari, President of the Syndicat National des Antiquaires and the Board of Directors.

“We have made this difficult decision by recognising that the health situation will not allow the organisation of a major international event such as La Biennale Paris and the gathering of thousands of dealers, collectors, professionals and visitors as is done each year,” he said in a statement.

He added: “We owe it to dealers to eliminate all uncertainty by informing them of the decision today, so that they can enjoy proper visibility in the last quarter of this year.  Thanks to the early measures put in place by the Syndicat National des Antiquaires, the organiser of the Biennale Paris, our exhibitors face no financial risks.”

Organisers had already taken steps to allow exhibitors to pay over four months following the event rather than in advance. More than 85 dealers had already committed to the event and will show next year, including Ariadne Galleries, Brun Fine Art, and Galerie Mermoz.

In his statement de Jonckheere said that the fair’s priority was to “ensure the health of all concerned and to act responsibly for the benefit of our profession, which is already hard hit by the COVID-19 outbreak”.