The spread of the coronavirus has led the Art Basel organization to cancel their Hong Kong show scheduled March 19-21.
The next Miami show is still scheduled to happen Dec. 3-6.
Coronavirus was recently declared a global health emergency by the World Health Organization.
Several factors informed the Art Basel decision: concern for the health and safety of those working at and attending the affair; the severe logistical challenges facing the transit of artwork to the show; and the escalating difficulties complicating international travel.
“Our thoughts are with those affected by the recent coronavirus outbreak around the world,” said Marc Spiegler, Global Director for Art Basel. “The decision to cancel Art Basel Hong Kong was an extremely difficult one for us. We explored every other possible option before doing so.
“We are acutely aware of the important role that the fair plays within the region's cultural scene and for our galleries, both in Asia and across the globe. Our team dedicated extensive time and effort to ensure our show in March would be a success. Unfortunately, the sudden outbreak and rapid spread of the novel coronavirus radically changed the situation.”
Adeline Ooi, the organization’s Asia director, said they are grateful to exhibitors and partners in Hong Kong shared insights and opinions over the past days. “Our commitment to Asia and Hong Kong has not changed, and we look forward to the 2021 edition.”