By Kate Bennett, CNN
In a statement from his office, Trump said that in addition to the hat, the auction lot will include a watercolor by Marc-Antoine Coulon – a French artist who caught her eye for her NFT last month – as well as what the statement defines as “an exclusive NFT digital artwork with movement”. The NFT, the second Trump sold in less than a month, features the hat design with some animation.
Trump’s office has said part of the proceeds will go to an initiative that is part of the former first lady’s Be Best program, but it’s unclear how much will be donated.
The centerpiece of the auction, the personalized white hat, which Trump signed, was created for Trump by his personal stylist, HervÃ© Pierre, to match the Michael Kors Collection white crepe suit that Trump wore for daytime ceremonies at the White House in the presence of Emmanuel Macron and Brigitte Macron.
The visit of the French President and his wife was the First official state visit by the Trump administration by a foreign leader, and it happened in April 2018, weeks after the scandalous headlines about the former president’s alleged extramarital affairs. Appearance of Melania Trump in the hat for the visit to France was closely watched by the media, because it was one of the first times that she appeared with her husband after the announcement of her marriage. CNN has also reached out to Pierre for comment on the auction.
All three items will have an opening bid of $ 250,000, and auctions will only be accepted through SOL, a form of cryptocurrency.
Trump’s exploration into the world of NFTs and cryptocurrency is not a traditional avenue for former first ladies, many of whom write memoirs or pursue charitable work outside of the White House.
Many first ladies donate important clothing or other personal items associated with historical moments from an administration to the Presidential Library associated with their husbands for display, or to other institutions or organizations at the museum level. What a first lady wore on certain official occasions, such as a state visit like that of the first French family to which Melania Trump donned the hat, is part of an administration’s historical tale and is seen as a tangible asset. for a period of American politics. For example, several items from Jacqueline Kennedy’s wardrobe as First Lady are part of an exhibit at the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library & Museum.
Donald Trump has yet to announce his intention to plan a presidential library. CNN’s questions to Melania Trump about the thought process behind its NFT sales have gone unanswered.
On December 16, Trump announced his first NFT, a limited release that ended on December 31 and consisted of a watercolor drawing of his eyes by Coulon for sale for $ 150. CNN has contacted Trump’s office for clarification on the number of NFTs sold and profits, as well as how much would go to supporting foster children, which Trump claims will be the case. . The last paragraph of Trump’s latest announcement for the three auction items on his personal website includes the following line: “A portion of the proceeds from this auction will allow foster children to access computer science and technology education. “
CNN has repeatedly asked Trump’s spokesperson for clarification on the “revenue portion,” which the statement said will go to “Fostering the Future,” which is described as a “Be Best Initiative.” The auction statement says Trump will “award the first round of scholarships to recipients in the first quarter of 2022,” although details of the scholarships were not included.
A preview of the items on Trump’s website began on Tuesday, with auctioning on the lot, titled “The Head of State’s Collection,” which is scheduled to open Jan.11 and end Jan.25.
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