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The well-known Art Moscow International Fair has been cancelled

Unfortunately the key Russian contemporary art fair ART MOSCOW has been cancelled in its 18th year and appears unlikely to return,  as  reported in the Art Newspaper.  Art Moscow by one account Russia's oldest art fair  seems to have been facing both economic and political troubles, including EU and US sanctions on the country. The was expected like every past 17th years to take place the next month of September.

According to The Art Newspaper (TAN):
A precedent was set this June at the International Book fair, when two plays were eliminated from the programme: one for a profusion of foul language, another because of an accusation of hidden gay propaganda. The organisers self-censored the works, although there was an implication of external pressure.

What organizers fear may hurt the fair, since the half of the exhibitors are from abroad, as well as an episode that happened at this past June’s International Book fair. As news points out, the blog of Moscow-based Baibakov Art Projects sums the cancellation of the fair as “due to a combination of reasons ranging from politics to economics (the art market in the country is not exactly booming) to good old – fashioned censorship.”

In a follow-up interview with TAN, Vasily Bychkov, chief executive of Art Moscow organizer ExpoPark Exhibition Projects, admitted that the decision to cancel the fair was made in the winter, adding, “We decided to relocate the resources usually employed for Art Moscow — people, money — to another project.”

An article about last year’s edition of Art Moscow indicates the fair was already struggling financially and facing struggle in the Rian Art market. Meanwhile, another contemporary art fair, Cosmoscow, will open in Moscow as planned. This is Cosmoscow’s second year after an initial outing in 2014. The new fair Cosmoscow is now Russia’s only international fair for contemporary art.