GREAT FALLS, Mont. (AP) — A Western art museum in Montana has postponed its annual exhibition and fundraising auction due to coronavirus concerns while other events during Western Art Week in Great Falls will take place.

C.M. Russell Museum executive director Tim Figarelle said Monday the event brings art enthusiasts from around the United States and Canada to Great Falls. Organizers are postponing the museum’s activities during next week’s Western Art Week as a precaution. No coronavirus infections have been reported in Montana.

For most people, the new coronavirus causes only mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough. For some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia.

The Russell Exhibition & Sale is a primary source of revenue for the C.M. Russell Museum. Last year’s auctions grossed about $3.4 million for the museum and brought hundreds of visitors to Great Falls, the Great Falls Tribune reported.

The postponed events include the Russell Western Heritage Awards on March 18, the preview party for the Russell auction on March 19 and auctions on Friday and Saturday.

“Safeguarding the health of our treasured friends and our hometown is the utmost priority with our decision,” Figarelle said in a statement.

Other Western Art Week events are still scheduled to take place, including several art, Western collectibles and antiques exhibitions and sales, organizers aid on the events website.

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