The WHO has announced COVID-19 a pandemic as over 140,000 people have been infected. With the situation worsening day by day, The U.S. government declares the coronavirus pandemic a national emergency, extending travel bans to UK and Ireland. The auction house Christie’s has announced their decision to postpone most New York and Paris sales that will take place in March and April as well as the closing of most of their offices in Europe and the United States.
According to the official announcement from Christie’s, the affected sales are as follows (sales mentioned are live unless specified):
Most of Christie’s sales in March and April are located in New York and Paris which means that this arrangement halts most major sales in the upcoming two months.
The auction house will soon announce the arrangements of other sales in New York, Paris, London and Amsterdam. However, the sales ‘Prints and Multiples’ and ‘Chieveley House, Berkshire and Five Private Collections’ which will take place respectively on 18 March and 19 March in London will proceed as scheduled.
Many of Christie’s offices will be closed, including that in New York
To ensure the health and safety of employees and visitors, Christie’s is temporarily closing the offices listed below starting from 16 March (Monday):
Europe: Mandrid, Milan, Rome, Monaco, Moscow, Vienna, Zürich, Brussels, Munich, Düsseldorf, Stuttgart, Hamburg
Americas: New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago, Dallas, Miami, Houston, Mexico City, Buenos Aires, Bogota, São Paulo, Santiago, Toronto
Other regions: Dubai, Tel Aviv
Offices in Paris, Geneva and Amsterdam remain open with a reduced number of staff. Christie’s King Street office in London operates as normal and will closely monitor the situation on a daily basis.
Another international auction house, Bonhams, has decided to cancel ‘all unnecessary events’ from now until 15 April while all sales and pre-sale exhibitions will continue as scheduled.
As the number of COVID-19 cases in the US has risen above 2000, the government declared the outbreak a national emergency and added England and Ireland to the list of countries banned from US travel. This new measure will come into effect on 16 March which is next Monday. President Trump has also taken the test for the virus but has yet to receive the result of it.
On the other hand, Europe has also become an epicenter of COVID-19. On 14 March, Spain confirms more than 1500 new cases, raising its total to 5753 cases, the second-highest number in Europe after Italy.
It is predicted that most major auction houses will announce new arrangements soon according to the development of events. We will keep you updated.