Even at a time of fierce competition among international art fairs, the European Fine Art Fair–or TEFAF, as it is commonly called–is generally considered the most prestigious of them all. For a whole week in March each year, more than 200 of the bluest blue-chip art and antiques dealers set up shop in Maastricht, the Netherlands, and offer everything from Old Master paintings to prized snuffboxes to newest contemporary art. Collectors swoon.
Announcing that next year’s edition of the fair will run from March 16 to 25, TEFAF released what is unquestionably one of The Observer‘s favorite press releases of the year, detailing some of the hard work and extravagance that went into hosting the 2011 fair, which attracted New York galleries like Sperone Westwater, Van de Weghe Fine Art, Jack Kilgore & Co, Inc. and Haunch of Venison.
Below, a handy guide to this year’s fair:
333,681: total square footage of the fair
200: workers building the fair
25: days it took to build the fair
154: private aircraft that landed at the Maastricht-Aachen airport during TEFAF
144,000: flowers, including:
7,500: anemones and ranunculus
55: countries from which the visitors hail
2,184: man hours spent vetting exhibitors’ wares
100,000: glasses used to serve drinks at the nine-hour preview
1,800: bottles of champagne served during the preview
3,500: bottles of wine served during the preview
150,000: canapés served during the preview