• gerard van weyenbergh

End of the Antique Biennale Paris!

The rumor had been swelling for several weeks. And the resignation of Georges de Jonckheere from his post of president of the Biennale on February 10 had only reinforced the questions. It is now official: after 31 editions and more than 60 years of existence, the Biennale Paris, former Biennale des Antiquaires, no longer exists. The National Union of Antiquarians (SNA), which until then organized the fair live, also takes over.

Instead, it is an entirely different event dedicated to "the arts and high quality", organized by an outside company, which will take place at the ephemeral Grand Palais next November.

Alexis Cassin is the creator of the event. He is the founder and CEO of Procept, an event agency, which has just created Manufactura, a company specializing in the organization and realization of events. It is a priori this entity and - the little known - Arts & Fine Crafts Foundation (of which Alexis Cassin is also a co-founder) which will be in charge of the new event's organization, in partnership with the SNA.

The initiator of this new meeting will be surrounded by the three other founding members of the foundation: Henri Jobbe-Duval, who took part in the developments of the Fiac, the Salon du Livre or even Art Paris; Fabienne Lupo, former President and Managing Director of the Fondation de Haute Horlogerie (FHH) and former Managing Director of the Salon International de Haute Horlogerie now Watches and Wonders and the architect-scenographer Patrick Bazanan, former Managing Director of the Décoral agency. Mathias Ary Jan, vice-president of SNA, is also part of the team.

The Antiques Biennale was created in 1956, at the initiative of the then president of the SNA, Pierre Vandermeersch, first under the name of Foire des Antiquaires. Under the leadership of André Malraux, who opened the Grand Palais doors to him, in 1962 the fair became the Biennale des Antiquaires. In June 2015, under the leadership of the then president of the SNA, Dominique Chevalier (2014-2017), the event's annualization was voted. Since then, the demonstration has continued to lose ground, facing strong competition from Tefaf in Maastricht and Brafa in Brussels. Not to mention that the 2020 edition, in the form of an online auction organized at Christie's, had ended in bitter failure.

The name and precise dates of this new event will be revealed soon.

© Le Journal des Arts - Marie Potard Video -1/2 hour - about Biennale de Paris 2019