While the world balance of Coronavirus rises to more than 2,400 victims, Italy too faces the first real emergency linked to Covid-19, the virus, coming from China, which has been causing panic worldwide since the beginning of the year, including the art world.
Because of the Coronavirus, the affected countries are taking measures to contain what is considered a pandemic, so also the world of art and culture in Italy and abroad is suffering the side effects of the virus with related economic repercussions: at the moment, in fact, the performances at the Teatro alla Scala are suspended, Pirelli Hangar Bicocca has been closed and the same goes for XNL Piacenza Contemporanea.
In China, in addition to the cancellation of Art Basel Hong Kong 2020, precautionary measures have been taken against Coronavirus also by auction houses, art institutions and artists. Art Central, one of the most important contemporary art events in the world, has canceled its 2020 edition.
Sotheby’s,, Christie’s and Bonhams have decided to postpone the auctions scheduled for the Asian Art Week in March in New York until June. In addition, Christie’s Hong Kong moved its 20th Century and Contemporary Art Evening Sale to May.
In addition to sowing contagions and fear all over the world, Coronavirus is slowing down global economies, starting with China, which has slowed by 4.5% in the first quarter of 2020. As regards the art market, China is today the third most important market after the United States and the United Kingdom, with sales in 2019 of 12.9 billion dollars, equal to 19% of the global market ($ 67.4 billion). In addition, 13 of the world’s top 200 collectors are of Chinese origin, and over 200 million are the Asians who support Western cultural tourism with their visits.
Meanwhile, the artists take a stand against unnecessary alarmism, creating works of denunciation, related to the theme of Coronavirus. Among them, the street artist Laika, with her mural depicting a Chinese woman with a mask and the capture “There is an epidemic of ignorance around … we must protect ourselves !!!”; but also Tv Boy with the mural “Mobile World Virus” made in Barcelona and LYS with the work “Progress” depicting the Mona Lisa with the mask.
The international art system, closely connected with the economic-financial sector, cannot be considered immune to this epidemic, the consequences of which will be assessed with the latest updates.