As Bloomberg News reports, the eighth edition of Art Basel Hong Kong, scheduled to open in March, is facing calls for cancellation due to the alarming spread of the coronavirus in China and other countries. Some gallery owners have expressed serious reservations about sending their employees to Hong Kong, while others have dropped out already. According to Bloomberg News:
Art Basel Hong Kong, which drew 88,000 people last year, is scheduled to open to VIPs on March 17 at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre. UBS Group AG is the show’s lead partner.
Exhibitors would include 241 galleries from 31 countries and territories, according to the website. The Art Basel franchise, which also includes fairs in Miami and Basel, Switzerland, is part of Switzerland’s MCH Group AG. The parent company has been struggling financially, and any cancellation in Hong Kong may complicate things further.
“Art Basel is taking the recent outbreak and spread of the new coronavirus extremely seriously,” a representative for the fair said in an emailed statement. “We are closely monitoring the developments and recommendations issued by the World Health Organization and national governments, as well as consulting directly with relevant experts. We will provide updates on the implications for our Hong Kong show as soon as possible.”
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Image: Art Basel Hong Kong 2015. By Wing1990hk - Own work, CC BY 3.0. Via Wikimedia Commons.