Update [1/4/2020]: Salone del Mobile has now officially been postponed to April 2021.
Salone del Mobile, Milan’s annual furniture and design fair, has been postponed from April to June because of the coronavirus outbreak.
Italy now has the highest number of confirmed cases in Europe, with more than 300 identified cases and 11 deaths. Particularly badly affected are cities in the north of the country, where Milan is located.
The festival, which is in its 59th edition this year, will now take place two months later, on 16-21 June.
A statement on the decision was published on the festival’s website. “Following an extraordinary meeting today of the Board of Federlegno Arredo Eventi, and in view of the ongoing public health emergency, the decision has been taken to postpone the upcoming edition of the Salone del Mobile,” it said.
Design Week attended a preview of this year’s festival in early February, where projects focused on “smart” homes and more sustainable models for furniture design.
At the press conference, Chinese journalists that were unable to travel, presented videos of themselves appearing to be under self-quarantine. Meanwhile, manufacturers voiced concern about the sourcing of some products that are made in China, such as LEDs.
In a video published on Twitter, Milan’s mayor Giuseppe Sala says: “I am calling on our colleagues in the furnishing sector and the Salone del Mobile to pull together to make sure Milan doesn’t grind to a halt.
We won't stop. We can't stop. Salone del Mobile.Milano will be held from 16th to 21st June at Rho Fiera Milano, hear @BeppeSala, Mayor of #Milano, to know more#SaloneDelMobile #SaloneDelMobile2020 #iSaloni #Eurocucina #SaloneDelBagno pic.twitter.com/Qanh1W1w4Z
— Salone del Mobile (@iSaloniofficial) February 25, 2020
“We need to work objectively to stop this virus spreading, but we must also take care not to spread the virus of distrust.”
Other design events have been postponed all over the world, from Germany to China.
The fate of the Olympics, which is supposed to take place in Tokyo in the summer, is also unclear. A member of the International Olympic Committee said this week that there is a three-month window to make the decision, which would make May the time for a decision.