The first edition of The Open Art Fair opened in March but closed after only two days.

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TOAF launched last month after its organisers bought a majority stake in the BADA Fair last year. Scheduled to run for more than a week, it closed after just two days on March 19 in the face of rapidly growing concerns over the coronavirus. Around a quarter of the exhibitors did not attend.

In a statement released by BADA, it said its decision reflects the trade body’s 20% ownership of the event as well as the 27-year history of its predecessor, the BADA Fair. It added that although the event was now open to non-members, more than three-quarters of the exhibitors belong to BADA.

BADA chairman Michael Cohen said: “Given the unprecedented circumstances the exhibitors found themselves in, the council believes this represents a fair and balanced approach, one that recognises our relationship with the event, while ensuring we have the funds to keep the association running for the future benefit of its members.”

At the time of the sale of the fair, the trade body indicated that proceeds would go to the development of its online portal.

Cohen reiterated this point, calling the web “a method of selling that will undoubtedly become even more important to our trade over the coming months and years”.