Christian Vrouyr, an Antwerp gallery owner specialising in antique carpets, has been BRAFA's General Secretary for the past fifteen years and a member of its Board since 2015. This is his 64th participation in a fair now celebrating its 65th anniversary.
What major changes have there been since BRAFA first started? I would say that the biggest change came about in 2004, when we left the Palais des Beaux-Arts in Brussels – a very fine building by Victor Horta, but not very practical – and moved to Tour & Taxis. This much more spacious industrial building led to a rise in exhibitors, from 45, mainly from Belgium, to the present 133, with 83 coming from other countries. We have also seen visitor numbers increase from 10,000 to 70,000 in forty years. This can certainly be seen as a gauge of international recognition. In your opinion, what is BRAFA's strength in achieving this international reputation? The exhibitors are the most effective ambassadors for a fair. If they like the atmosphere, hospitality and décor; if there is a quality clientele and if word of mouth leads to their colleagues applying, we don't need to set out in search of applicants…
This article is for subscribers only
You still have 85% left to read.