Fast Facts

  • Location: Maastricht, Netherlands
  • Attraction Type: Art Fair
  • Significance: A great place to see some excellent artworks from the past and the present, up for exhibition and sale.
  • Best Time to visit: March every year. Scheduled for 12-21 March in 2010.
    Daily 11 am — 7 pm, Sunday: 11 am to 6 pm.
  • How to Reach: Reach Maastricht-Aachen Airport, which is located 10 km from the fair center and can be easily approached via hired cars and taxis. You can also reach Maastricht from the Amsterdam or Eindhoven Airport. Shuttle services are available from almost all hotels during the fair days.
  • Nearest Airport: Maastricht-Aachen Airport

Every March, the ancient Dutch city of Maastricht becomes a hub of activities for the rich and the famous, brushing shoulders with art appreciators from all walks of life. The European Fine Art Fair in Maastricht is not just a nice place to see artworks but also to see some of the famous collectors face to face. Walking by your side, demurely scanning the works with cultivated nonchalance can be a Mohammed al-Thani of Water of Qatar, a Michel David-Weill or a Mark Fisch, looking for the next masterpiece to grace their collection.

The European Fine Art Fair is a great place to see some excellent artworks from the past and the present, up for exhibition and sale. It is a meeting ground for some of the biggest art dealers and collectors from all over the world. Exhibits include paintings by 16th and 17th-century masters, sculptures going back to antiquity as well as later day imitators of antique works, photographs, and graphic arts. Jewelry and furniture are also other favorite exhibits of the fair. Each item, small or big, old or contemporary, is vetted by the fair’s team of specialized experts. You need not worry about authenticity while shopping at Maastricht.

European Fine Art Fair Overview
In the Maastricht festival, artworks on sale range from accepted masterpieces that fetch millions of dollars to photographs and paintings by newcomers that can be bought for a few hundred dollars as well. More than 200 dealers arrive from over 15 countries to display their collections. Although the collectors and the dealers are the most important people as far as the economics of the fair is concerned, the onlookers and viewers add particular charm and life to the festival that cannot be possibly denied. Just be there and take a stroll around, irrespective of whether you actually buy something or not.

European Fine Art Fain 2009
The greatest draw of the 2009 European Art market was a Van Gogh landscape, which fetched a whopping 23 million pounds, giving a great ray of hope to collectors and dealers even in the midst of an economic downturn. Other works to cross the 10 million mark included a Canaletto, and a Zurbaran religious painting sequestered from a monastery a century ago. Both the works fetched triple their previous price, which again proved that the market is gaining confidence. Works by Degas, Picasso and Soutine also attracted a good price. A surprise draw was Lucio Fontana’s sixties’ work of white painting with six vertical cuts. It attracted over 5 million pounds.

Classics usually draw good price at Maastricht, and this year was no exception. Gabriel Metsu’s ‘Old Woman at a Meal’ was priced at over $ 4.5 million and was sold within a day. However, some of the more modern works also drew a good price at the Fair, like Basquiat’s painting ‘Untitled (Black Athlete)’, which drew $4.5 million. A few other Basquiat were also a part of the exhibition. Antiquities were the biggest attractions and were sold in great numbers, including Greek Venus statues and Egyptian statues.

Financial Downturn and the European Fine Art Fair
However, it would not be an overstatement to say that the troubled economic times have actually influenced the fair in at least some ways. There was a marked absence of American collectors, and some of the big names as far as auction houses and dealers were absent. On the other side, that gave a chance for some long-time waiting list candidates to get a chance to exhibit their collections. Dealers confided that many of their clients were actually selling off old collectibles to escape cash crunches. However, the business did not seem to be as bad as it was projected. There is definitely confidence within the echelons of the art market and it exhibited itself fully in the fair.

Where to Stay in Maastricht
The Maastricht Exhibition and Congress Center can be easily accessed from all parts of the Maastricht. There are many accommodation facilities in Maastricht. Some of the most popular hotels in the city include Hotel Novotel, Hotel Iban, Styaokay and Hotel Biggar. Chateau St. Gerlach and Kruisherenhoel are two of the luxury high-end accommodation facilities you can opt for. Try to book early, as all the hotels usually get booked well in advance during the festival time, with the influx of a large number of foreign visitors.

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