Art Basel evicts FIAC from Grand Palais

Paris's Grand Palais
Paris’s Grand Palais

Art Basel has turfed FIAC out of its traditional home, announcing that it has signed a seven year contract with the Grand Palais to hold an art fair in the French rival’s traditional October slot.

La Monde has reported that overtures were made by Art Basel to Chris Dercon, the former Tate Modern director, who since 2019 has been the president of the Association of French National Museums-Grand Palais. RMN-Grand Palais then opened up the slot to bids, something they had not previously done, with FIAC losing out.

This new event adds to the fairs Art Basel runs in Switzerland, Miami and Hong Kong.

RX France, the parent company of FIAC and Paris Photo, will be able to continue with its November photographic event.

In a statement Art Basel global director Marc Spiegler said, ‘With its incomparable history and contemporary dynamism, Paris is uniquely positioned as a pivotal epicenter of the international cultural scene. By combining the history of Art Basel and the cultural heritage of Paris, the ambition is to launch a new event that brings together artists, collectors, curators and gallery owners from all over the world and unites Parisian cultural actors far beyond the Grand Palais.’ In press interviews a spokesperson has said that while the selection committees for the fair have not yet been formulated, they will not reduce the number of local exhibitors, as some on the French gallery scene had feared.

MCH Group, the parent company of Art Basel, has gone through a rough few years financially, compounded by the pandemic, as well as facing competition from Frieze. The latter, owned by American media events company Endeavor, will inaugurate its first art fair in Seoul in September.

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