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After Jacqueline Kennedy the daughter of a Russian oligarch will marry on Onassis’ island

19 October 2015 / 13:10:46  GRReporter
9005 reads

In the rainy afternoon of 20 October 1968, Skorpios island attracted international attention with the first and only secular event for decades. On that day, Aristotle Onassis married the widow of assassinated US president John F. Kennedy, Jackie Bouvier Kennedy, on the small island in the Ionian Sea.

Photo: Jack Garofalo/Paris Match via Getty Images

Exactly 47 years later, on 21 October 2015 in the afternoon, the new owner of Skorpios, Ekaterina Rybolovleva, will marry her 34-year-old partner Juan Sartori. He is a businessman with a worldwide presence, who was born in Uruguay but grew up and received his education in Switzerland. Sartori is president of the company Business Group that is operating in the fields of energy, oil, real estate and other economic sectors in Latin America.

26-year-old Ekaterina acquired Onassis’ island in 2013 when her father, Russian oligarch Dmitry Rybolovlev, bought it from Greek billionaire Onassis’ granddaughter Athena. In an exclusive interview with the Greek edition To Vima she defines Skorpios as "a mythical island, a piece of land that has become a haven with its own history."

Rybolovleva is speaking, with admiration, about Aristotle Onassis who, in her own words, was "a charismatic and determined man", however avoiding comparing him with her father on the personal and entrepreneurial level. In the interview, she is talking about her relations with Athena Onassis, revealing that the granddaughter of legendary Aristotle was aware of her desire to buy Skorpios. "I had told her that if she would ever decide to part with the island she should immediately notify me," said the bride before To Vima.

"Skorpios means a lot to me. It is my personal refuge, which helps me relax and return stronger to my duties. It is my second home, the ideal destination for my holidays. It is the place where I can relax and feel totally free. I feel that I could absorb the harmony and tranquillity of this special place. It is also sacred, full of history, tradition and respect. All this is due to the legacy that Aristotle Onassis has left behind," said Rybolovleva.

Asked whether the fact that Onassis owned Skorpios in the past had influenced her decision to buy it, she replied, "Onassis was a very clever and gifted man (...) He bought the island in 1962, when it was uninhabitable. He managed to turn it into a unique vacation place for the Onassis family, bringing water and sand to it. He planted thousands of trees and built the main house and the smaller buildings. His dedication, generosity and his close relationship with the local community inspired respect for him. He remains someone whom we remember and admire. "

Commenting on the common opinion that unlike the businessmen in the past who acted mainly based on their entrepreneurial instinct nowadays those are technocrats to a larger extent, Ekaterina Rybolovleva noted, "Obviously today's business environment is not at all reminiscent of that of the past. Many things have changed. Now we are living in the era of technology and fast information (...) The environment at that time drove entrepreneurs to rely on their instincts and to trust them. They used their insight and wisdom that they achieved empirically. They learnt to rely on themselves. Each generation can offer many things and we need to be wise enough to learn from everyone."

Photo: Rex Features

Ekaterina Rybolovleva states that renovations works are underway on Skorpios that do not interfere with the natural environment and the recommendations in Aristotle Onassis’ will. She said she spends most of her time travelling between Monaco, London and New York. "I like travelling in South America too," says the daughter of Russian oligarch Dmitry Rybolovlev.

Her preference is far from surprising, since her future husband was born in Uruguay’s capital Montevideo. The wedding will take place this coming Wednesday (21 October) on Skorpios and as she claims herself, it will be modest. "We will celebrate the event with a modest ceremony that will be attended by only our families and closest friends. This is important to me. This great event will connect Skorpios even more with the most important moments in my life," Ekaterina Rybolovleva states at the end of the interview.

Tags: CelebritiesSkorpios islandEkaterina RybolovlevaWeddingJuan SartoriAristotle OnassisJacqueline Kennedy
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