Art Basel Hong Kong CANCELLED

After weeks of ongoing discussions concerning the health safety of the attendees, the Art Basel Hong Kong edition has been cancelled due to the widespread outbreak of the coronavirus.

Art Basel Hong Kong's 2019 edition. VINCENT YU/AP/SHUTTERSTOCK

The fairs owners, MCH Group, officially made a statement this afternoon stating that the event, which was supposed to take place March 19-21 at the Hong Kong Convention & Exhibition Center, was unable to take place due to the ongoing outbreak of the coronavirus that has affected over 30,000 people and took the lives of 633 people.

The MCH Group made this necessary decision after the virus was declared a global health emergency by the World Health Organization. MCH leaders said, they had “no option but to cancel the upcoming edition of Art Basel Hong Kong. Numerous factors informed this decision, including fundamental concern for the health and safety of all those working at and attending the fair; the severe logistical challenges facing the build-out and transit of artwork to the show; and the escalating difficulties complicating international travel, all arising as a result of the outbreak of the coronavirus.”

Residents wait to buy face masks from a Hong Kong pharmacy. Photo by Anthony Kwan/Getty Images

This is a crushing decision for everyone involved and for those planning to visit the fair. Adeline Ooi, Art Basel’s director of Asia added: “We are deeply grateful to our exhibitors, partners, and friends all over the world, and especially in Hong Kong, who have stood by our side, lent their support, and shared insights and opinions over the past days and months. Our commitment to Asia and Hong Kong has not changed, and we look forward to the 2021 edition.”