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MIPIM 2020 postponed over coronavirus fears

Mipim 2018 palais
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The organisers behind MIPIM have postponed the annual international property fair in Cannes due to ‘growing concerns’ over the spread of coronavirus

Pressure had been mounting on the show’s backers to shelve the global event, which was set to attract more than 26,000 attendees to the French resort including hundreds of UK architects. 

Last week a raft of big names pulled out of the show including property agents Knight Frank and Cushman & Wakefield, and architects HOK and Morrow + Lorraine.

Now the organisers have announced the ’world’s leading property market’ will be pushed back from 10-13 March to 2-5 June.

Paul Zilk, chief executive of event backer, Reed MIDEM, said: ’Given the evolving context, the best course of action is to postpone MIPIM to June. This is not a decision we have taken lightly.

He added: ’The wellbeing of our clients and staff is our priority. We believe these new dates will provide the international MIPIM community with the opportunity to achieve their business objectives.’

Yesterday (28 February) the mayor of Nice confirmed a woman in Cannes, reportedly a 23-year-old fashion student who had recently returned from Milan, had tested positive for coronavirus.

The outbreak in nearby Lombardy, north-west Italy is among the worst outside Asia. France now has 38 confirmed cases of the virus.

Earlier in the week MIPIM’s organisers had insisted the show would go ahead despite the threat of contagion which had already caused the Milan Furniture Fair to be postponed from April to June.  

Speaking about the postponement, Chris Boyce of Assorted Skills + Talents* said: ’While I am sure cancelling/moving MIPIM is a good thing in terms of the inevitable spread of a virus which can kill, it seems like a horse v locked-stable measure when each day hundreds of thousands of people pass through every one of Europe’s airports, and smear their bodily fluids on plane seats, loos, door handles and café tables, spreading that self-same virus, among other things.

’The impact of cancelling this late on smaller firms who have committed non-refundable hard earned money on MIPIM week, or on the vendors and restaurants of Cannes, will be considerable.’

He added: ’I hope the property circus is able to go ahead in June to make up for their losses, and that globally we have vaccines and treatments that will kill the virus soon, and better strategies which stop it’s spread among the more vulnerable - such as nurses, retail workers and cleaners - who can’t take time off and are often far more “at risk” than the wealthy MIPIM crowd.’

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