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The Miami Beach Convention Center, Miami, Florida.
The Miami Beach Convention Center, Miami, Florida.

Art Basel Cancels Miami Fair

Citing the impact of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, Art Basel Miami Beach decided to scrap the fair’s 2020 edition, originally set to take place in Florida’s Miami Beach Convention Center from December­­­ 3–6. “It is with great regret and disappointment that we announce the cancellation of our December show in Miami Beach, as we know how crucial our show is for our galleries, as well as for the greater Miami arts community and economy,” said Americas director Noah Horowitz in a statement.

Florida has counted more than 633,400 cases of coronavirus and 11,500 deaths statewide since the pandemic began, placing them third in the nation behind only California and Texas in infection count. Along with health concerns, Art Basel also pointed to uncertainty about staging such a large gathering, the viability of international travel, and quarantine restrictions as factors in their choice. The pandemic has already spurred the cancelation of Art Basel Switzerland and Art Basel Hong Kong, a major loss of revenue for the company. MCH Group, the Swiss owners of Art Basel, recently announced their plan to sell more than 40 percent of their stocks to James Murdoch.

As communicated earlier this year, selected galleries will not be charged booth or participation fees for the December showcase. Application fees will roll over to the event’s 2021 edition. Following the example set by the called-off Basel and Hong Kong fairs, the company will feature galleries accepted into the Miami Beach fair in an online viewing room.