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MAASTRICHT, the Netherlands — “He’ll sort coronavirus for us. He conquers epidemics,” said the antiques dealer Paul Moss, gesturing toward a monumental gilded statue of the Medicine Master Buddha that his gallery was exhibiting at a subdued preview of the TEFAF Maastricht art and antiques fair on Thursday, overshadowed by the Covid-19 crisis.

Mr. Moss, a consultant for the London-based Asian art specialists Sydney L. Moss Ltd., pointed out that there were no comparable examples of such a large-scale Japanese sculpture from the 11th or 12th century in Western museums. Carved with the Buddha’s right hand raised in the characteristic “Fear Not” gesture and his left holding a medicine jar, the serene figure was priced at 1.2 million pounds, or about $1.5 million.

Before the fair, three museums in the United States had been “actively enthusiastic,” about the statue, he said, but none of them came to Maastricht to see it, Mr. Moss said. Though, in this particular case, it had more to do with the clash of TEFAF Maastricht with Asia Week in New York than coronavirus, Mr. Moss added.

Other American institutions, such as the Dallas Museum of Art, let staff decide for themselves. “As there are no travel restrictions to Maastricht, the decision was up to us,” said Nicole R. Myers, a senior curator of European art, who attended TEFAF with two museum patrons. “We’re acquiring currently,” Ms. Myers added.

An undisclosed American museum felt confident enough to reserve, on the basis of digital photographs, a sumptuously veneered late 17th-century bureau by Pierre Gole, cabinetmaker of Louis XIV, priced at €300,000 in Mr. de Quenetain’s maximalist presentation, the dealer said.

The international dealership Galleria Continua, based in San Gimignano in Italy, was one of four debut exhibitors bolstering the contemporary art section of this year’s fair. Continua opted to show a pared-down display of life-size metal sculptures of the human body by Antony Gormley, mostly dating from 2011-12, all priced at £400,000, about $520,000. One sold at the first-day preview.

Maurizio Rigillo, the gallery’s founder and partner, who has been a regular visitor to TEFAF Maastricht, said he was committed to exhibiting at future editions of the fair. But this year, particularly for a dealer from Italy, where more than 100 people have died after testing positive for the coronavirus, participation has been a challenge, he said. “Normally I’m on a plane with 10 collectors from Milan,” said Mr. Rigillo. “This year I was on my own.”

The coronavirus outbreak is the most recent of a series of setbacks for the international art trade. The latest annual Art Basel & UBS Art Market report, published Thursday, estimated global sales of art and antiques in 2019 at $64.1 billion, a decline of 5 percent on the previous year. The report cited President Trump’s trade war with China, Brexit and civil unrest in Hong Kong among the contributing factors.

“Everyone is braced for a tough fair,” said the London-based TEFAF exhibitor Stephen Ongpin, who is showing 39 museum-quality drawings by the 19th-century German artist Adolph Menzel. “The figures are going to be down, but I don’t know anyone who isn’t pleased to be here.”

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