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Venice Architecture Biennale 2020 postponed due to coronavirus
The Architecture Biennale's Ca' Giustinian headquarters in Venice

Venice Architecture Biennale 2020 postponed due to coronavirus

Breaking news: the start of the Venice Architecture Biennale has been delayed from May to August due to disruption caused by the coronavirus outbreak in Italy.

Organisers of the world's most prestigious architecture biennale announced today that the event will begin on 29 August and run until 29 November. The preview, or vernissage, is scheduled for 27 and 28 August.

The decision to delay the opening by three months was made due to the impact of measures being taken by governments to restrict the spread of the virus.

"The new dates of the architecture biennale have been established as a consequence of the recent precautionary measures on the subject of mobility taken by the governments of a growing number of countries in the world," La Biennale di Venezia said on its website.

"[This] will have a chain effect on the movement of people and works in the coming weeks."

Biennale will only last three months

The biannual event was scheduled to run from 23 May to 29 November. It has now been shortened to just three months instead of the usual six.

Biennale officials said that a shorter delay was not possible due to the "complexity of the organisational machine" and the likely absence of some of the major exhibitors. Curator Hashim Sarkis had also expressed concern about being able to complete the exhibition in time.

The theme of the biennale is How do we live together? It will explore how people can co-exist harmoniously despite widening political divisions and wealth gaps. The event was expected to attract around 250,000 visitors, with 114 participants from 46 countries.

Last week a press conference announcing the biennale schedule that was due to be held in London was cancelled at short notice. Instead, Paolo Baratta, president of La Biennale di Venezia, held an online press conference giving details about the event without mentioning coronavirus the possibility of a delay.

Many major design events postponed

Outbreaks of the Covid-19 strain of coronavirus have occurred around the world, with Italy the worst-hit country in Europe. The death toll in the country stands at 80 people, with over 2,500 confirmed cases of infection. The government has declared a state of emergency.

The virus has wreaked havoc on the global calendar of architecture and design events. Milan's Salone del Mobile furniture fair had been postponed from April to June, leaving curators for the events that surround it scrambling to re-organise. Dezeen Events Guide's digital guide to Milan design week will now be delayed until June.

Germany's Light + Building fair in Frankfurt has been delayed due to coronavirus, as has the MIPIM property fair in Cannes and Design Shanghai in China.

The main image is by Moonik.