Russian billionaire’s daughter buys Greek island which belonged to Onassis, By Oxana Andrienko
The daughter of a Russian billionaire has bought the Greek island where shipping oligarch Aristotle Onassis married Jacqueline Kennedy in 1968.
Ekaterina Rybolovleva, 24, who last year reportedly purchased the most expensive appartment in New York, has turned again to a spectacular investment in real estate. She is keen on the resort island of Skorpios not just for leisure but also for business. The sale price was not disclosed by the investment office of Dmitry Rybolovlev, her father, but the Greek media reported that the sales value of Skorpios island was discounted and that the final price was over $100 million.
Ms Rybolovleva bought the 30 hectare Skorpios, in the Ionian Sea off western Greece, from Athena Onassis Roussel, the 28-year-old granddaughter of Aristotle Onassis. Ms Onassis Roussel is the only surviving descendant of the shipping magnate.
“Ekaterina is delighted that the trust has negotiated this purchase, ” a representative of the Rybolovlev family investment office said. “She regards the acquisition as a long-term financial investment.”
Included in the deal is the small neighbouring island of Sparti. A statement from the investment office clarified that “a company belonging to a trust acting in the interest of Ekaterina Rybolovleva has completed the purchase of a group of companies formerly ultimately owned by Mrs Athina Onassis. Amongst the assets of this group of companies are the islands of Scorpios and Sparti.”
Dmitry Rybolovlev, owner of AS Monaco Football Club and co-founder of the Russian potash producer Uralkali, has a history of snapping up trophy properties, Reuters reported.
Aristotle Onassis purchased Skorpios in 1963 and turned the poor and barren island into a luxury resort by planting thousands of trees and importing sand. In 1968 he brought the island to world attention when he and Jacqueline Kennedy, widow of the assassinated US president John F. Kennedy, chose it as the venue for their wedding.
After Aristotle Onassis’s death in 1975, Skorpios passed to his daughter Christina, who died of a heart attack at the age of 37 in Argentina in1988 after a history of family tragedy, drug abuse, weight issues and four failed marriages..
Athena Onassis Roussel was three when her mother died. Her grandfather, his son Alexander, who was killed in an airplane crash aged 25, and Christina are all buried on Skorpios.
There had been unconfirmed rumours in the Greek media that Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates and pop star Madonna earlier sought to buy Skorpios.