Milan's annual furniture fair Salone del Mobile will be postponed until June as Italy grapples with a coronavirus outbreak. The show's organizers announced the decision on Tuesday in response to growing concern about the spreading virus. Italy currently has the highest number of confirmed cases in Europe, with over 200 in Lombardy, the region where Milan is. Originally scheduled to take place from April 21 to 26, the fair will now be held from June 16 to 21.
"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 Milan," the fair explained in a press statement. The board members had been weighing whether they should cancel the event altogether or only postpone it.
The mayor of Milan, Giuseppe Sala, showed support for the final decision in a video conference posted on Twitter. "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," he said, according to an English transcript of the video.
"We need to work objectively to stop this virus spreading, but we must also take care not to spread the virus of distrust. Milan has to carry on. so I would like to thank them [the board members] all for this proof of confidence because it's not easy right now to try and appeal to visitors and convince professionals from all over the world, but I believe this is the right decision. Nevertheless, as I am fond of saying, it is crucial for everyone to do their bit. Therefore I call on the government to intervene and provide some help for a fundamental sector for our economy."