Further delays possible for Salone del Mobile as Italy’s north placed in lockdown - Furniture and Decorating NZ
Further delays possible for Salone del Mobile as Italy’s north placed in lockdown

Further delays possible for Salone del Mobile as Italy’s north placed in lockdown

With 16 million people under quarantine, Salone del Mobile will consider its options while the Venice Architecture Biennale will only run for three months instead of six.

Words by ArchiPro Editorial Team

Salone del Mobile may face further delays as Milan is locked down in a bid to contain the coronavirus outbreak.

Italian prime minister Giuseppe Conte yesterday signed a decree affecting around 16 million people in the country’s north, including the Lombardy region and provinces in surrounding regions. 

The decree places millions in quarantine and requires those living in the impacted regions to obtain special permission to travel, including in and out of design centres Milan and Venice. The decree also saw closures of schools, gyms, museums and other public venues across the country, which are currently scheduled to be in place until 3 April.

These strict quarantine measures affect approximately one quarter of the Italian population, with the death toll in Italy currently sitting at more than 230.

Despite an earlier postponement from April to June in an effort to avoid the peak of the virus, Salone del Mobile’s organisers will meet this week to discuss the situation and consider the implications for the currently scheduled June dates.

At this stage, Salone del Mobile’s newly scheduled dates fall outside the enforced quarantine window, but nervousness from exhibitors and guests may make the fair more difficult to hold.

Some designers and brands, such as the glass design house LASVIT, have already pulled out, citing uncertainty around the situation and an aversion to travel from fair attendees.

“Our decision is driven by the existing uncertainty about the situation and its development as well as the clearly lower willingness of people to travel. At this moment, it is almost impossible to predict what will happen within the coming three months … keeping in mind all the facts and a ‘safety first’ approach, we decided not to postpone our event and dismiss 2020 altogether,” LASVIT founder and president Leon Jakimič said.

Confirmed cases of Covid-19 in Italy passed 5800 on Saturday, with the death toll now at 233. 

The Venice Architecture Biennale has also been postponed from May to August in light of the uncertainty around coronavirus. Organisers announced last week that the biennale will begin on 29 August and run until 29 November with the preview now scheduled for 27-28 August, shortening the event to three months instead of the usual six.

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