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

Daily Mail logo Daily Mail 10/9/2021 Rachel Sharp For Dailymail.com
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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.

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.

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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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.' 

Bergès told DailyMail.com in a statement that the gallery was awarded the loan under the previous administration and before it was representing Hunter.

'We received the 150k in April of 2020 and it was extended the following year to additional 350k,' he said. 

'We are grateful to President Donald J. Trump for creating this program that allowed countless businesses like mine to survive during this once a lifetime pandemic. 

'The capital was used to sustain the gallery and its employees during this tragic chapter in our global history, Hunter Biden was not represented by the gallery at that time. Again, we are thankful to President Trump for creating this program.' 

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

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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