Impact of Brexit: Cancelled: Masterpiece in L...
Impact of Brexit

Cancelled: Masterpiece in London

Photo: Art Basel

The MCH Group, Basel, has cancelled the art and antiques fair Masterpiece in London scheduled for June 28 to July 5. The reason given for the cancellation by the managers in Switzerland is escalating costs and the impact of Brexit. Its impact has been clearly felt: The number of applications by galleries outside the country has fallen by 58 percent since 2018.

Jewellers, in particular, have been affected by the UK government's abolition of VAT refunds for international customers in 2020. The declining number of international exhibitors makes the event uneconomic this year. Moreover, transport and building costs, which impact the organisers and exhibitors of the exhibition, have risen sharply over the past two years and are expected to rise still further in 2023. The decision to cancel the 2023 edition six months before the event was made that early to limit the impact on all affected parties. Masterpiece will immediately repay in full all deposits made for the 2023 edition.

Similarly, all contractual obligations with suppliers will be honoured. The brand and the event itself continue to have a strong following with over 40,000 visitors attending in 2022. The MCH Group is considering its future options for the Masterpiece brand. The company is keen to retain its employees and conversations are ongoing. Founded in 2010, Masterpiece was one of the world's leading multi-disciplinary art fairs, bringing together over 140 of the most distinguished art dealerships and galleries from around the world.