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May is a month that we all used to associate with a thriving cultural spring. Fairs, events, festivals all over the world, ready to welcome us. Among each of these events, the Venice Biennale is for sure an highlight of the year and in this case, among the long list of events that will be cancelled. The situation seemed to be redefined with the new opening date of the 17th Venice Architecture Biennale on 29 August 2020. Now, however, it is official: the Architecture Biennale will be held from 22 May to 21 November 2021, thus occupying the dates originally scheduled for the Art Biennale curated by Cecilia Alemani, that because of this domino effect be postponed for a year, from April 23 to November 27, 2022.

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The reasons for this choice, as previously happened in the case of the Expo Dubai, are linked to the objective impossibility of proceeding, within the set time limits, to the realization of such a complex and worldwide exhibition. In addition, counting the limitations of travel between one country to another. The persistence of this situation up to now has definitively compromised the organization of the exhibition in its entirety, jeopardizing the creation, transport and presence of the works and consequently the quality of the exhibition itself. The Biennale, also hearing the curator Hashim Sarkis, in respect of the difficulties of the invited architects, of the countries, of the institutions, of the participating side events, thanking them for the efforts made so far, has decided to postpone the opening of the International Architecture Exhibition to 2021, but with the original duration of six months, from 22 May to 21 November.

"The last few days have made clear the reality that we face. With the utmost respect for the work done by all, the investments made by the Participants and considering the difficulties encountered by all the Countries, the Institutions, the universities, the architecture studies, together with the uncertainty of the mobilization of the works, of travel and in by virtue of the new Covid-19 measures that have been and will be adopted, we have decided to listen to those who, and they are the majority, have requested the postponement of the Architecture Biennale. I have received many messages hoping for a postponement to 2021. We now plan to open the 17th International Architecture Exhibition in May 2021 and give it a longer duration until November, as was planned before the pandemic. However, the Architecture will be present in Venice in the autumn thanks to the numerous initiatives that will keep the question of How will we live together at the center of the scene "," said the President, Roberto Cicutto.

"I am deeply impressed by the perseverance of all the participants, especially in the past three months. I hope the new opening date will allow them to catch their breath to complete the job with the time and vigour it deserves. We hadn't expected this. The question I asked "How will we live together?" and the richness of the Participants' responses were not designed to face the crisis we are experiencing, but here we are. We are somewhat lucky because we will be well equipped to face the immediate and long-term consequences of the crisis in the 2021 edition of the Architecture Biennale. The theme offers us the possibility to respond to the pandemic also in the immediate future, and for this, we will return to Venice in the coming months for a series of activities dedicated to architecture", commented the curator of the Venice Architecture Biennale Hashim Sarkis, who already in February 2020 had to present its edition in an unusual remote video conference.

The Venice Biennale confirms the 77th International Cinematographic Art Exhibition directed by Alberto Barbera from 2 to 12 September; the 48th International Theater Festival directed by Antonio Latella from 14 to 24 September; the 64th International Festival of Contemporary Music directed by Ivan Fedele, from 25 September to 4 October; the 14th International Contemporary Dance Festival directed by Marie Chouinard from 13 to 25 October.

Cover image: Venice Biennale. Courtesy Venice Biennale

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