Six months later, he is very pleased with the way business is going at the centre in the thriving village of Long Melford in Suffolk.
He said: “The centre continues to grow, footfall is excellent, as are sales as well as the general support and attention it generates.
“We currently have 52 dealers, all selected for the quality and diversity of their stock.
“Our vintage café is doing well taking bookings for private functions and we have exhibitions planned in the run-up to Christmas including a show by the Fenland artist Anthony Day.”
Dealers Karin and John Haines are based in England but currently spend a lot of their time in Switzerland.
They have stock in one centre and that’s the Melford premises, of which they are big fans.
Sculpture is the Haines speciality and they currently have on display at the centre a 6ft (1.9m) tall sculpture, The Venus of Meudon, created in 1956 by the German-French Dadaist sculptor Jean Arp (1886-1966).
John said: “Several of these large sculptures were made over a period of years from the 1950s to the 1980s. This Venus had been hard to date accurately but shows years of wear and tear and needs some loving care to bring it back to its original state.
“It is a great example of Arp’s genius in stylising and simplifying the human form and the image is as powerful today as it was in the 1950s.
“We bought it from a small auction house in Cambridgeshire and it is currently reserved while we research the piece with various institutions.’’
He added: “We do have other Surrealist/Dada pieces on our stands at the centre, most of which have been in storage for several years. These include The Cadeau by Man Ray and The Rape by Magritte.”