Artistic director of Also Known As Africa resigns over decision to cancel

Timothée Chaillou not consulted over postponement of new Paris art fair

Timothée Chaillou, the artistic director of a new fair dedicated to contemporary African art and design that was due to open in Paris on 3 December, resigned last week. Chaillou says he was not consulted by the fair director when she cancelled the first edition of Also Known As Africa (AKAA) after the terror attacks on 13 November that killed 130 people in the French capital.

Chaillou says he was quitting “for personal and professional” reasons. “[The director] Victoria Mann made the choice to postpone the fair without consulting me,” he says. “I regret that this information was given to me after the decision was taken.” Chaillou says he would now concentrate on other projects as an art consultant and curator.

Mann says she decided to cancel the fair as she was “concerned about the safety of the public and our participants, and also for the potentially adverse economic effects on our exhibitors”.

She says she had had a “very small window” of time in which to make the decision, and did so after consulting her selection committee, galleries, collectors and the director of the Carreau du Temple, where the fair was due to take place. She says that Chaillou's contract with AKAA ran until mid-December, and its renewal was to be discussed.

The first edition of the fair is now scheduled to take place between 9 and 13 November 2016.