IT is Spain’s most prestigious art fair and traditionally attracts international buyers from around the world, each paying up to €40.

But this year organiser’s of the ARCO contemporary art fair, held in Madrid, have been forced to pay wealthy collectors to attend due to poor ticket sales.

With local buyers struggling due to the financial crisis, 150 guests from the US, Russia and Asia will have their airfare and three nights accommodation paid for.

More than 200 galleries from 30 countries will be taking part in this year’s fair, now in its 32nd year, which runs from February 13-17.