The European Fine Art Foundation (TEFAF), The Limburg provincial government, The City of Maastricht and MECC Maastricht have announced a ten-year partnership.
The main points of the agreement are a major renovation and extension of the congress centre MECC Maastricht, creating possibilities for investments in hotel rooms, infrastructure and improving links with a major international hub/airport to aid overseas travel by 2019 and a permanent location for TEFAF within the City.
The province of Limburg and the City of Maastricht approached TEFAF in order to cement the relationship between the city and the Fair that it has hosted for more than 30 years.
In recognition of the benefits that the TEFAF Maastricht brings, the partners are committed to improving infrastructure and providing more four and five-star hotel rooms.
The Province of Limburg will improve the connectivity of the Maastricht Aachen airport by investing in a direct connection to a major international hub.
“Our conversations with the city and province have underlined the extraordinary level of support for TEFAF and a shared desire to build an environment in which TEFAF can continue to grow and thrive.
“As a solid majority of dealers want to stay in Maastricht, the Board of Trustees is delighted by the commitment that the City and province has shown TEFAF,” said Patrick van Maris. “Our relationship with Maastricht is very strong, I am delighted that, with this new partnership, it will now be even stronger”.
The relationship is underlined with the appointment of Guido Derks, managing director of the Province of Limburg, to the TEFAF Board:
“This is not just good news for art dealers and connoisseurs. It’s also a red-letter day for the city of Maastricht and the regional economy. The large numbers of international visitors coming to Maastricht generate a great deal of economic spin-off. Given its importance to the regional economy, the Province of Limburg will support to the required quality boost”, added Twan Beurskens, provincial executive member for Economics and Knowledge Infrastructure.
John Aarts, Maastricht City executive member, said: “These plans mean that Maastricht will be able to develop into an even more attractive art hotspot. Every year the fair generates significant extra revenues, for example for hotels, restaurants, museums, theatres, shops and taxis – the annual figure of twenty million euros, and on top of that there’s the impact on employment.”
MECC Maastricht is about to undergo a major refurbishment and expansion, which is scheduled to be completed in 2020 at a cost of EUR30m.
MECC Maastricht managing director Rob van de Wiel said: “The partnership with TEFAF extends beyond the annual fair. We share a common objective with the organisation to make the TEFAF Maastricht brand as strong as possible and our new state-of-the art building will ensure that TEFAF can continue to create the incredibly beautiful fairs for which it is known and admired.”
Maastricht City Council is providing De Hoofdwacht, an 18th-century building in Vrijthof, so that TEFAF can have a presence in the City throughout the year. The building will be used in a variety of ways, which will be developed over the coming year and will enhance TEFAF’s presence in the City.