TEFAF art dealer Anthony Meyer's lasting love for Maastricht

In March he will be participating in TEFAF Maastricht for the 23rd year. Anthony Meyer is a unique character with his own particular style and singular accent. This American art dealer has a gallery in the centre of Paris which is considered to be a leader in the small world of tribal art. The gallery specializes in ancient statues and other art objects, most of which originate from the many islands and islets in the Pacific Ocean.

His main reason for visiting is to do business at the art fair, after all, that's how he makes his living. But he sees his return to Maastricht as a kind of homecoming too. ‘I once even considered moving to Maastricht,’ he says from his home in Paris. ‘But in Paris you're closer to the international art market all-year round. Yet I'm glad that TEFAF remains connected to Maastricht, as the city has the perfect ambiance to facilitate this type of fair. When you go into the city centre at night, you experience the TEFAF vibe all around you, in all the restaurants and cafés. I also made new friends through TEFAF. These include art dealers and clients, but also locals who are not involved in the art world. The local people of Maastricht are truly hospitable people.’

Over the years, Anthony Meyer has come to know the ins and outs of Maastricht and discovered his favourite places. One of these is Café Sjiek. ‘I feel like I'm a member of the family there. They serve great food for a great price, without any fuss. And you never dine alone there. For more official meetings, such as dinner with clients, I like to go to Château Neercanne, as they have excellent service there. I also really like Rozemarijn restaurant, and Mediterraneo in Rechtstraat is also a wonderfully vibrant place to eat. All these restaurants are filled with people from TEFAF during the fair.’

But Meyer doesn't only explore all the restaurants in the city. ‘On Wednesday, the day before TEFAF opens, I always go to eat herring on Markt square. The statue with the flame that stands on the square always draws my interest. I also appreciate the beauty of the Dominicanen bookshop. The treasury of the St. Servaasbasiliek (Basilica of Saint Servatius) fascinates me, as does the art in the Onze Lieve Vrouwebasiliek (Basilica of Our Lady). I'll also wander into Blanche Dael for peanuts or some other delicacies, where I enjoy the authentic and historic atmosphere. There's just so many wonderful things in Maastricht to experience, and I'm only there for two weeks per year. I always tell myself to come and visit in the summer, to explore the city as a tourist. But with my busy schedule I just never seem to get around to it. But visiting and experiencing Maastricht is certainly no punishment!

Text: Jo Cortenraedt