the process is unique, almost brutal, and shocking. It is also not common in other industries, as the parent company of the Art Basel, the MCH Group, has now thrown Fiac out of the running. The bad thing is that Fiac was well on its way to becoming an international force. But maybe that was exactly what the Swiss didn't like. Now, in any case, Art Basel has taken over the location and date of the Fiac. From 2024 in October, the Art Basel will appear in the Grand Palais, before that in the Grand Palais Éphémère. Unless another miracle happens, this means the death sentence for the Fiac.
But the fact that it has come to this is not only due to the MCH Group, in which James Murdoch, son of media mogul Rupert Murdoch, bought a 49 percent stake two years ago. Above all, the director of the Grand Palais, Chris Dercon, is likely to be the decisive figure in the chess game for the most coveted exhibition space. According to a report in the French newspaper Le Monde, Dercon had also obtained the agreement of President Emmanuel Macron.
In the art market, only the big galleries and the best-known artists do good business. This will not change with an Art Basel in Paris, whatever its name will eventually be. It remains questionable whether the small French galleries will benefit from the deal, as promised. In the end, the French galleries that didn't back the Fiac because they didn't think the annually rising prices were appropriate to have hurt themselves. The realization may not come immediately, but it is coming. Dercon has also used the new deal to raise prices. There is talk of 30 percent. Somehow, the MCH Group also has to pay for the expensive million-dollar deal.