Maastricht event under fire as many attendees contract coronavirus

Maastricht event under fire as many attendees contract coronavirus

The European Fine Art Fair (TEFAF), held in Maastricht, has come under fire after many of its exhibitors and visitors tested positive for coronavirus. TEFAF was closed four days early, on March 11, when one of its exhibitors, an Italian modern art dealer, tested positive on return to his home country. 

At least 25 test positive for coronavirus

At least 25 visitors and exhibitors who attended TEFAF have tested positive for coronavirus, according to a report in The Art Newspaper. The organisers of the event are being criticised for not cancelling the whole event, which attracted 28.500 visitors and had nearly 300 exhibitors, whilst coronavirus was spreading through Europe. The first case of coronavirus in the Netherlands was confirmed on February 27. 

According to The Art Newspaper, between 23 and 35 people may have contracted coronavirus at the event. Some have since been hospitalised and several are in intensive care. However, the number affected is likely way higher. 

Decisions made with authorities 

The decision to go ahead with the fair was made with local and national authorities, a TEFAF spokesperson said. From February 27, TEFAF management had daily meetings with national and regional health authorities and the mayor of Maastricht.

It is unfair to blame TEFAF for the spread of the virus, a spokesperson expresses, “There were no cases in the Netherlands when we started the fair.” Moreover, at the start of the fair, the vast majority of exhibitors supported the decision to let the fair go ahead.

Mina Solanki


Mina Solanki

Completed her Master's degree at the University of Groningen and worked as a translator before joining IamExpat. She loves to read and has a particular interest in Greek mythology. In...

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Hanjo de Veth 14:10 | 29 March 2020

Indeed, no infections in Maastricht untill visitors living in North Italy came and spread them. I had my doubts , didn't understand this event wasn't cancelled.. don't get me wrong, not pointing fingers at Italians .. TEFAF should have cancelled it..