- TEFAF celebrates 25 years showcasing the best in fine art and antiquities
- Classical sculpture, jewelry, Old Master paintings, antique furniture on display
- Highlights include necklace owned by Viennese Empress, works by Bruegel and Picasso
- Fair's organizers are confident, despite gloomy financial outlook
There are few places in the world where you can see ancient statues, imperial European jewellery, masterpieces by Pieter Bruegel, paintings by Picasso and sculpture by Henry Moore all under one roof.
But for a week starting Friday, you can see the finest examples of art from antiquity to the present day displayed at TEFAF, The European Fine Art Fair, in Maastricht, the Netherlands.
The highlights of this year's fair include a necklace once owned by Emperor Maximilian II's wife, an antique cabinet and mechanical organ playing Beethoven's "Battle Symphony," a painting of the Madonna and Child once owned by Napoleon III and a representation of Marilyn Monroe's mouth in rubies and pearls by Salvador Dali.
Now celebrating its 25th year, the fair remains one of the most important events on the annual art calendar.
"It doesn't compare to any of the other fairs" said dealer Dino Tomasso, who is exhibiting at the fair for the first time this year with a showcase of Renaissance and Neo-Classical sculpture.
"It's talked about all year long, the quality is exceptional [and though] it's not the easiest place to have a fair, people travel from all over the world to come to it," he continued.
Fabrizio Moretti, a dealer and expert in Italian Old Master paintings who is also on the board of trustees for the fair, said: "The thing that [the fair organizers] really strive for is the quality, and a new buyer can buy with confidence."
His gallery, Moretti Fine Art, is exhibiting a 1715 terracotta figure of a lion, thought to be the model for a commemorative monument to Queen Anne of England, and a painting by Pascualino Veneto of the Madonna and Child that was once owned by France's Napoleon III.
It is this high quality of objects that makes TEFAF such an important event for art lovers, said Titia Vellenga, a spokesperson for the fair.
"What has created the fair's reputation is primarily that from the beginning we