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Politics Hunter Biden's art gallery saw federal COVID loan rise to $500k

00:40  10 october  2021
00:40  10 october  2021 Source:   dailymail.co.uk

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Art gallery selling Hunter Biden ' s paintings saw federal COVID -19 loan increased from 0k to $ 500 k after his father Joe took office. Public records show the Georges Bergès Gallery in Soho, New York City, was granted a 0,000 COVID -19 disaster assistance loan last year. In July 2021 - six months after Joe Biden took office - this figure was then revised, awarding the company another 0,000 and 0,000 in total. Just over two months later, the gallery hosted a pop-up show at the famous Milk studios in Hollywood to sell the president's son's paintings. The Soho gallery is also set

Hunter Biden ' s abstract art to sell for $ 500 K to 'anonymous' and 'confidential' collectors says his ex-con agent, raising serious questions about WHO the buyers are. Hunter Biden , who has no professional background as an artist , will be selling The agency representing Biden ' s art dealer says it is common for gallery and auction sales to remain confidential but this practice has been scrutinized by law enforcement agencies in recent years. 'Pricing fine art in his experiences as a gallerist is based on the demand of the work as well and the intrinsic value of it,' a statement from Berges' agency said.

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The art gallery selling Hunter Biden's paintings saw its federal COVID-19 loan increased from $150,000 to $500,000 after his father took office, it has been revealed.

Public records, seen by the New York Post, show the Georges Bergès Gallery in Soho, New York City, applied for and was granted a $150,000 COVID disaster assistance loan from the Small Business Administration last year.

In July 2021 - six months after Joe Biden took office - this figure was then revised, awarding the company another $350,000 and more than trebling the total value of the loan.

Just over two months later, the gallery hosted a pop-up show at the famous Milk studios in Hollywood to sell the president's son's paintings which cost between $75,000 and $500,000.

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CNN host Victor Blackwell mocked Hunter Biden ’ s upcoming art auction where his art is priced as high as $ 500 ,000 as a poorly veiled pay-to-play scheme. Blackwell said that an artist entering the market at ,000 to half a million dollars…it just doesn’t happen unless you’re going for the name.” Harvard Business School announced it has moved all of its first-year MBA students and some of its second-year students to temporary remote learning due to “a steady rise in breakthrough” COVID -19 infections among its student population. People who are vaccinated can still test positive for COVID .

At least five reproductions of Hunter Biden ' s art sold for ,000 each at his show at the Georges Berges Gallery in Los Angeles. It is unclear which prints were sold or if any other art was sold afterwards. The identities of the buyers also remained anonymous, however a source said they were likely 'long-term, private collectors with the gallery '. Hunter Biden was seen rubbing fists with World Champion Boxer Sugar Ray Leonard and rubbing elbows with other celebrities and wealthy potential buyers who turned up to see his paintings at his first art exhibition in Los Angeles Friday.

The Soho gallery is also set to hold a New York City show of his work this spring, after it was pushed back from the original launch date this month.

Hunter Biden pictured with ex-Stockton mayor Michael Tubb at his Los Angeles pop-up show on October 1 © Provided by Daily Mail Hunter Biden pictured with ex-Stockton mayor Michael Tubb at his Los Angeles pop-up show on October 1 Georges Bergès Gallery in Soho, New York City (above) which is selling Hunter Biden's paintings saw its federal COVID-19 loan increased from $150,000 to $500,000 after his father took office, it has been revealed © Provided by Daily Mail Georges Bergès Gallery in Soho, New York City (above) which is selling Hunter Biden's paintings saw its federal COVID-19 loan increased from $150,000 to $500,000 after his father took office, it has been revealed

In total, the gallery received around $580,000 in COVID-19 relief payments, after it also received two Paycheck Protection Program loans totaling around $80,000 in April 2020 and February 2021.

The substantial loans, designed for businesses hard-hit during the pandemic including to help cover salaries, were granted despite Georges Bergès Gallery employing just two people.

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COVID -1984. Hunter Biden ’ s newfound venture does little to distract from the ongoing concerns that he could perhaps be trading on his family name, as he and other members of the Biden family have been accused of doing in the past. Hunter ’s entry into the art world follows years of his endeavors in the world of international finance where he has been criticized for engaging in business ventures with countries at a time when his then-vice president father was negotiating U.S. foreign policy with those countries.

EXCLUSIVE - Filmmaker arrested for vandalizing art gallery where Hunter Biden ' s $ 500 K paintings will be displayed: Suspect spray-paints 'daddy' and says president's son is 'helping launder money'. Webber himself later yelled that he acted because Hunter is trying to 'launder' money for President Biden . His arrest comes hours after the White House defended Hunter 's right to pursue a career in art . Ethics experts believe his art deals could lead to influence peddling following on from his dealings in Europe and China.

There is no indication that the president was involved in granting these loans or that his son Hunter profited from the payments - either through payment from the gallery or by it using the money to market his paintings.

However, it comes as questions have already been raised about the ethical implications of Hunter's art dealings.

Prior to the LA show, an agreement was reached that Bergès would vet sales of Hunter's artwork for potential conflicts of interest and that all buyers would remain anonymous to avoid any potential efforts to influence the Biden administration.

Yet, video and photos exclusively obtained by DailyMail.com showed Hunter and Bergès entertaining around 200 people at the Milk studios on October 1 for an exclusive invite-only event to showcase his 15 high-priced paintings.

Hunter Biden was seen rubbing fists with World Champion Boxer Sugar Ray Leonard and rubbing elbows with other celebrities and wealthy potential buyers at his art exhibition © Provided by Daily Mail Hunter Biden was seen rubbing fists with World Champion Boxer Sugar Ray Leonard and rubbing elbows with other celebrities and wealthy potential buyers at his art exhibition The president's son and his gallery manager Georges Bergès entertained about 200 guests as he made his professional art debut at Milk Studios in Hollywood © Provided by Daily Mail The president's son and his gallery manager Georges Bergès entertained about 200 guests as he made his professional art debut at Milk Studios in Hollywood

Potential buyers and celebrity guests at the event included World Champion boxer Sugar Ray Leonard, Moby, LA Mayor Eric Garcetti - who is the president's nominee to be the ambassador to India - and the artist behind Barack Obama's iconic Hope poster.

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Shaub, who recently called out Biden administration officials for hiring a slew of family members to a variety of positions, has urged Hunter and his art dealer Georges Berges to reveal the identity of the buyers so the public can see if the buyers are trying to get access to the White House . Biden ' s art dealer's roster of artists includes Sylvester Stallone and Bahraini royal family member Sheikh Rashid Al Khalifa. Berges was the subject of a federal lawsuit in 2016 after he was accused of defrauding an investor.

Paintings by Hunter Biden are expected to fetch up to $ 500 ,000 (£360,000) apiece at auction this autumn. Any buyers will be kept anonymous to stop them seeking political influence with the Bidens , the White House says. The younger Biden ' s business dealings in Ukraine, China and elsewhere have often been held up by Republican critics as a conflict of interest for his father, which both Bidens deny. Hunter is currently facing a federal tax investigation, though he has said he is "100% certain" he will be cleared.

The exclusive event fueled speculation around how the identity of buyers would be shielded.

Now, some critics are claiming the timing of the loans and the amount suggests the 'midlife crisis art career' of the president's son is being 'subsidized by the American people.'

Tom Anderson, director of conservative watchdog the National Legal and Policy Center, told the Post the funds could have been used to promote Hunter's artwork - which could be an ethical breach.

'We've reached a new low in American politics where the President's son gets his midlife crisis art career subsidized by the American people as part of our pandemic response to COVID,' said Anderson.

'This is a unique situation in which the president's son is directly benefiting from federal loans made to a third party.'

Anderson said the Georges Bergès Gallery 'by far' received the heftiest COVID-29 relief package out of more than 100 galleries in New York City's 10th congressional district.

He lodged a complaint with the SBA this week questioning the size of the loans.

New York Republican Rep. Claudia Tenney said the revelation about the gallery's loans 'erodes public trust in the president, just when you thought it could not go any lower.'

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Bergès told the Post how the gallery was awarded the loan under the previous administration.

'I received my PPP loan in April of 2020 when Donald Trump was president, along with countless other galleries which, considering a global pandemic was happening, we had every right to… Most galleries received this loan,' Bergès said.

'We were not unique.'

The artist page for Hunter Biden on the gallery website. The Soho gallery is also set to hold a New York City show of his work this spring © Provided by Daily Mail The artist page for Hunter Biden on the gallery website. The Soho gallery is also set to hold a New York City show of his work this spring

DailyMail.com has reached out to the gallery for further comment.

It emerged this week that Hunter had already sold at least five prints of his artwork for $75,000 each before the launch of the LA pop-up.

It is unclear if any other works have been sold since the show opened.

Sources told the Post that lawyers are now vetting prospective buyers ahead of the Manhattan exhibit.

The White House has faced questions about Hunter's art show this week - questions that Press Secretary Jen Psaki has largely referred to the gallerist.

'Well, to be clear, we've spoken to the arrangement that is run by the gallerist, and Hunter Biden's representative, that the White House provided suggestions for,' she said Wednesday.

'I'd refer you to the gallerist for questions about the event as well as the representatives of Mr. Garcetti in terms of his attendance.'

Hunter and Joe Biden. Questions have already been raised about the ethical implications of Hunter's art dealings © Provided by Daily Mail Hunter and Joe Biden. Questions have already been raised about the ethical implications of Hunter's art dealings Read more

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