November sees the launch of Cultura, the World Art and Antiques Fair. Cultura has the unenviable task of following in the footsteps of the now-defunct Basel antiques fair, organised by The European Fine Art Foundation (TEFAF). In 1998, TEFAF decided to concentrate on Pan Amsterdam and its flagship fair in Maastricht, leaving a considerable gap in the central European fair calendar. Cultura has stepped in but have had only six months to stage an ambitious event comprising over seventy international exhibitors, including twenty dealers of Roman, Greek and Etruscan art, in the same exhibition halls used by TEFAF and Art Basel. The Cultura management hope that they will be able to maintain the interest in Basel and are ensuring that their first fair continues with TEFAF’s tradition of high-quality art and antiques. TEFAF’s experience in Basel had been that antiquities, Asian, Latin American and classical art, as well as books and manuscripts sold best. Basel, with over thirty museums and one of the most important modern art fairs in the world, has always attracted a mix of art enthusiasts and collectors, so Cultura has the potential to live up to its predecessor when it opens on 13 November.
Originally appeared in The Art Newspaper as 'Cultura 1999: Basel successor to TEFAF'