Russian socialite, Ekaterina Rybolovleva, 24, daughter of the billionaire Dmitry Rybolovlev is the new owner of the private Skorpios island in the Ionian Sea purchased in 1962 by Greek shipping tycoon Aristotle Onasis.
The Russian co-founder of potash producing company Uralkali bought the island for reportedly $100 million from Onasis’ granddaughter Athina. The island is “a present” to the Russian heiress from her father in terms of a real estate investment. Rybolovleva has also purchased the nearby small island of Sparti. Onassis had bought the island for $10,000 back in 1962.
With his divorce from his wife Elena pending, some speculate that the Russian magnate prefers purchasing in guise of donations towards his two daughters, Ekaterina, 24, and Anna, 12, so that his wife cannot raise claims to his assets.
Although local authorities claim the purchase is most probably a long-term lease, since according to lawyers, Onassis’ will allegedly forbade the sale of the island. Ekaterina has already begun restoration works in view of her coming summer vacations.
Τhe high luxury resort is has entered a new era. Trucks are removing what’s left from the Onassis family on the island. The mayor of Meganisi, Eustathios Zavitsanos noted that he and the locals hope the new owners will show the required respect to the natural beauties of the island.
“Skorpios island is part of a island complex and famous for its long history of tranquility, simplicity and beauty. Many celebrities and famous people have visited the island in the past showing total respect of it. We do not want it now to turn into a catwalk or like Saint Tropez,” he said.
Ekaterina is the eldest daughter of Rybolovlev. Βorn in Russia but raised in Monaco and Switzerland, she has grown to be in the center of media attention despite being so young. Last year, while studying at Harvard, she made the front pages of magazines for purchasing one of the most prestigious and expensive apartments of Manhattan for $88 million. The new owner of Skorpios seem to have her love for horse-riding in common with Athina Onassis.
According to foreign media reports, Rybolovleva is particularly exhilarated with the idyllic island, where Onassis and Jackie Kennedy were married in 1968, and is already planning on spending her time between New York, Russia and Greece.
She is an avid equestrian, and has at least three horses – Lucky The Man, Obelix du Thot and Uropo. Her father is ranked the 93rd richest man in the world. The oligarch became popular in Greece after the Cyprus banking crisis burst out earlier this year as he owned 10% of the Bank of Cyprus’ shares and is going to suffer huge losses as the government confiscates up to 80 percent of bank deposits over 100,000 euros ($130,000) to get an international bailout.