Coronavirus: 14th edition of Art Dubai postponed, new Dubai-focused programme announced

New Delhi, Mar 3 (PTI) In the wake of the coronavirus outbreak, the 14th edition of Art Dubai, which was scheduled to be held on March 25-28, has been 'postponed' till further notice, organisers announced on Tuesday.

In a statement signed by Benedict Floyd, Pablo del Val, and Chloe Vaitsou, the CEO, artistic director, and international director of the fair respectively, a new Dubai-focused programme has been announced in place of the international fair.

'In consideration of the ongoing global health implications of the coronavirus, and having consulted with our partners and stakeholders, Art Dubai today announces that the 14th edition of the international art fair, scheduled for 25 - 28th March 2020, will be postponed.

'Given the essential role the fair plays in promoting local and regional artists, we have made the decision to stage a programme tailored to the local cultural community instead, including existing fair programme contributors and thought-leaders,' the statement read.

The 14th edition of Art Dubai was expected to show works from over 100 galleries from across the globe including five Indian galleries -- Vadehra Art Gallery, DAG, Blueprint12, and Nature Morte, all based out of New Delhi, and Experimenter from Kolkata.

The severe outbreak of the novel coronavirus has been declared a global health emergency by the World Health Organization. Originated in China's Wuhan city in December, it has killed nearly 3,000 people in China alone, with total confirmed cases crossing 80,000 as it continues to spread to new countries around the world.

The new format is planned to run on the same dates as the fair, and will present events, exhibitions, talks and strands of the existing Art Dubai programme. These will include local and regional gallery presentations, global art forum, residents and campus art Dubai.

'The goals and ambitions for this re-configured programme maintain our objective to deliver commercial, institutional and critical engagement with Dubai's art ecosystem - a commitment of support to our local community that we felt an imperative to uphold,' organisers said.

They added that further details of the programme will be announced in due course. 'With Dubai deploying the strictest medical and hygiene protocols, we will welcome international visitors in March, recommending that individuals follow advice from the authorities of their resident countries.

'We would also like to express our sincere thanks for all the support and understanding we have received from our partners and friends over the past week. Our thoughts are with everyone globally who has been affected by the virus,' the statement said.

Art Dubai is the second large-scale international art event to be affected by the virus outbreak. The eighth edition of Hong Kong Art Basel, which was supposed to be held earlier this month, was also called off after Art Basel -- the fair's Basel-based parent organisation -- announced in February that they had 'no option but to cancel' the Hong Kong show. PTI TRS MG MG