The organisers of Salone del Mobile, the largest furniture fair in the world, have decided to postpone the event, originally slated for early April, until June 16-21 due to the outbreak of the deadly coronavirus in Italy, footage filmed in Milan on Wednesday shows.

Some critical voices pointed out that the Salone del Mobile will overlap with Men’s Fashion Week Milano. However, the owners of shops in the Tortona neighbourhood, the historical epicentre of the event, remain positive.

"It seems there will be different overlapping events, but this could be positive. [Having the Salone del Mobile during the Man Fashion Week] will likely create confusion, but could also contribute to a more lively, sparkling event," said Federica Ricci Bitti, owner of Alysi showroom.

Cases of the virus, also known as COVID-19, have surged in Italy in recent days, with over 400 confirmed cases, the highest number in Europe, mainly in the densely populated northern regions of Lombardy and Veneto - where the cities of Milan and Venice are located respectively -and eleven deaths, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).

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