The newly created role, chairing the vetting across all three TEFAF Fairs (TEFAF Maastricht, TEFAF New York Spring and TEFAF New York Fall) will be filled by Wim Pijbes, emeritus general director at the Rijksmuseum.
He takes over from Henk van Os, another former Rijksmuseum director, who chaired the vetting committees at Maastricht for more than a decade.
The announcement of a new figurehead follows a review of legal issues relating to vetting and the controversial decision to ‘recalibrate’ vetting committees for TEFAF events to ensure that only experts with ‘as little commercial interest in the art market as possible’ are included as voting members.
For the first time, this year dealers and auction house specialists have been excluded from the fair’s 28 different vetting committees that henceforth will be composed of a 180-strong team of academics, curators, conservators, conservation scientists and independent scholars only.
The new policy was not without its detractors and TEFAF has extended a small olive branch to those who have been sidelined.
A TEFAF spokesperson said: “While it is TEFAF’s global policy to remove commercial interest from the vetting procedures, it is also important to acknowledge the expertise held by art dealers and auction house experts.
“As such, where it is necessary to consult commercially interested parties in the vetting process, such individuals will have a non-voting role.”