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Kreuzberg, Berlin.
Kreuzberg, Berlin.

Berlin Art Fair Discontinued Amid Financial Setbacks

Beset by financial uncertainty, the Cologne-based trade fair company Koelnmesse has canceled Art Berlin, the city’s foremost contemporary art fair. Koelnmesse, which runs around eighty trade exhibitions yearly and is also behind Art Cologne, acquired Art Berlin—previously known as Art Berlin Contemporary (abc)—in 2017. Its 2019 edition took place from September 12 to 15 on the fields of the inoperative Tempelhof airport. Organizers allegedly struggled to secure the venue and were unable to contract it for future editions. About 110 galleries participated in this year’s fair, which unfolded concurrently with Berlin Art Week; both Art Berlin and Berlin Art Week are helmed by Maike Cruse.

“We regret this step very much,” Gerald Böse, Koelnmesse’s managing director, told the Art Newspaper. “But at the moment we don’t see the conditions necessary to achieve our visions in producing this event.” The company also said in a statement that the “decisive factor for this decisions consists of the current framework conditions in Berlin, which provide no real planning security,” as the financial results of the fair had “ultimately been unsatisfactory for Koelnmesse.”

The company announced it would concentrate on its long-running Cologne fair, which was founded in 1967. Its fifty-fourth edition will run from April 23 to April 26, 2020.