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Don’t Call it Art Basel, Paris, Call it Paris+, S’il Vous Plaît

The Grand Palais Éphémère in Paris

Art Basel announced the name of its new Paris art fair. The inaugural edition of Paris+ will take place October 20–23 at the new Grand Palais Éphémère. The event will move in 2024 to the iconic Grand Palais, which Art Basel’s parent, MCH Group, shockingly wrested from the clutches of Rx France, the owners of Foire Internationale d’Art Contemporain (FIAC), paying an unprecedented $11.7 million for the privilege of doing so. The French art fair had since 1975 laid claim to the historic glass-and-steel venue, which is currently undergoing a $660 million restoration. MCH Group’s claim to the posh digs runs through 2028.

The new fair—whose title, according to a press release, is meant to celebrate “the city’s premier standing as a cultural epicenter” while reflecting “Art Basel’s ambition to create a flagship event that radiates throughout Paris, highlighting the dynamic dialogue between its cultural industries, from fashion and design to film and music”—will be helmed by Clément Delépine, the former codirector of Paris Internationale, a fair themed around emerging galleries that has since 2015 run concurrently with FIAC. Delépine will be assisted by general manager Virginie Aubert, previously vice president of Christie’s France, and deputy director Maxime Hourdequin, who formerly held the same post at FIAC.

Speculation had abounded that Jennifer Flay, FIAC’s longtime director, would assume the top spot at Paris+, having departed her post in the wake of FIAC’s ousting. However, a noncompete clause in her contract with Rx France prevents her from working for Art Basel in any capacity until 2023, when she is set to join Paris+ as president of its advisory board.

Also revealed was the new fair’s selection committee, which comprises Florence Bonnefous, of Air de Paris, Paris; Ellen de Bruijne, of Ellen de Bruijne Projects, Amsterdam; Daniel Buchholz, of Galerie Buchholz, Cologne, Berlin, and New York; Anton Kern, of Anton Kern Gallery, New York; Niklas Svennung, of Galerie Chantal Crousel, Paris; Georges-Philippe Vallois, of Galerie Georges-Philippe & Nathalie Vallois, Paris; and Christophe Van de Weghe, of Van de Weghe, New York. Galleries may begin applying for slots at Paris+ in mid-April.

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