The 2020 Venice Architecture Biennale, slated to kick off on May 23, has now joined a growing list of major international architecture and design events to be postponed due to the spread of coronavirus. As Domus reported, the 17th annual Biennale will now commence on August 29 and run through November 29.
In a February 27 online press conference officially presenting the exhibition, its theme, and a full list of participants, Paolo Baratta, the outgoing president of La Biennale di Venezia, indicated that the Biennale would proceed as planned on May 23.
That, obviously, has changed as coronavirus continues to spread throughout Italy, other European countries, and beyond. Italy’s northern regions, including the Veneto and Lombardy, have seen the highest concentration of outbreaks outside of mainland China, where the deadly virus originated in the city of Wuhan, and South Korea. It has also been announced that Italy is considering closing all schools and universities for two weeks in a drastic effort to curb the outbreak. Salon del Mobile, the world’s largest modern furniture fair and design event held annually in Milan, has also been pushed back until mid-June from its original April 21 kick-off date. Additionally, flights to northern Italy, Milan in particular, have been halted by major U.S. airline carriers in recent days, which would have further complicated the cross-Atlantic travel needed to attend many of the affected fairs. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention has also advised against traveling to Italy in general for the time being.
According to a statement released by the exhibition’s organizers and obtained by The Art Newspaper, the postponement is largely a logistical move made in direct response to these travel restrictions. “The new dates have been established as a consequence of the recent precautionary measures in the matter of mobility taken by the governments of a growing number of countries around the world, which will have a domino effect on the movement of people and works in coming weeks,” reads the statement.
AN will update this story as we learn more about the postponement.