Brexit and the art market (ctd.)

January 19 2023

Image of Brexit and the art market (ctd.)

Picture: Masterpiece 

The Masterpiece fair, which was launched in 2010 and had become London's major summer fine art fair, has been cancelled. Brexit was explicitly cited as a reason. Increased costs in getting artworks into and out of the UK have fuelled an almost total collapse in the number of international galleries wanting to participate. Without them, the fair cannot operate, highlighting how dependent London's art market is on European trade and collectors. From the Antiques Trade Gazette:

In a statement Emanuel Kuhn, head of corporate communications at MCH Group, said: “Escalating costs and a decline in the number of international exhibitors mean that the event is not commercially viable this year.

“Brexit has certainly had an impact on the fair. The number of international galleries that applied for the 2023 edition has decreased by 86%.”

He said jewellers in particular have been affected by the UK government’s abolition of VAT refunds for international customers in 2020.

The closure leaves London without a major fair in the summer, since the Olympia fair has been cancelled too (Brexit cited as a reason). It's very sad to see London slowly losing its place as the capital of the European art market, and nobody in the government wanting to do anything about it. Or indeed the Opposition, since Labour now seems just as committed to Brexit as the Conservatives. Frieze Masters, in October, is still due to go ahead. Let's see if it does. 

Notice to "Internet Explorer" Users

You are seeing this notice because you are using Internet Explorer 6.0 (or older version). IE6 is now a deprecated browser which this website no longer supports. To view the Art History News website, you can easily do so by downloading one of the following, freely available browsers:

Once you have upgraded your browser, you can return to this page using the new application, whereupon this notice will have been replaced by the full website and its content.