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Organisers Groupe Promocom blamed the decision on the “difficult global context” and the “deep crisis” affecting the art market, but nonetheless hope to stage the fair next Spring at another venue.

After a bright start – Agnew’s, Hall & Knight, Verner Amell, Adam Williams and Christian Deydier took part in the inaugural edition in 2001 – the annual fair has struggled to maintain momentum after the dates were modified in 2003, with the fair brought forward to start in the week after Christmas and straddle New Year.

Groupe Promocom are also considering relocating their annual Summer fair, Monte Carlo Antiquités, which has been held at Espace Fontvielle in mid-August since 1996.

Meanwhile, the 16th edition of the prestigious Monaco Biennale Internationale des Antiquaires, founded by barons of the Paris furniture trade in 1975, will go ahead at the Sporting d’Hiver in 2005 as planned, though it will be three days shorter than usual, running August 4-15.