As Italy struggles to contain the coronavirus—as of Thursday more than 3,800 people in the country have become infected and the death toll has risen to 148—MiArt announced that it is rescheduling its twenty-fifth edition; Milan Art Week is also being moved. Instead of taking place from April 17 to April 19, the fair will now open in the fall. It will run from September 11 to September 13, with a VIP preview day on September 10.
“The decision to postpone both events has been made in the interest of the health of visitors and exhibitors, in light of the spread of Covid-19,” reads a statement issued by the fair. “Over the last two weeks, MiArt and Milano Art Week have been working intensely together with all stakeholders in order to reschedule events around the city and guarantee the all-round quality of the fair. The new dates are an occasion for MiArt and Milano Art Week to be one of the first events of the new artistic and cultural season.”
The announcement follows the Venice Architecture Biennale’s decision to also push back the opening date of the exhibition, shortening its run by three months. The event will now kick off on August 29 and run until November 29. The fifty-ninth iteration of the design fair Salone di Mobile, which was also set to take place in Milan in April, will take place in June. Other major arts events that have been canceled or suspended because of the coronavirus include Art Basel Hong Kong, Art Dubai, and Art Paris.
According to CNBC, Italy—which has had the worst outbreak of the virus outside of Asia—has taken the most drastic measures to slow the spread of the virus in Europe so far. Schools and universities are currently closed until March 15; sporting and cultural events and other large public gatherings have been canceled; health officials in the northern region of Lombardy, where the cases are concentrated, are warning people to avoid hospitals unless it is an emergency; and a sum of $7.5 billion in aid is being allocated to combating the virus.
In the rest of Europe, Britain has 116 cases; Germany has confirmed 349 cases; and the number of people infected in France has climbed to 423. In the United States, NBC reports that fourteen people have died from the virus and that there are currently 225 cases across the country. On Friday morning, President Donald Trump signed a $8.3 billion emergency spending bill to tackle the outbreak.