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Onassis’ belongings to be taken away from Skorpios

16 April 2013 / 14:04:01  GRReporter
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For several days already, Skorpios – the small island in the Ionian Sea, widely known as "the island of Onassis," no longer belongs to the heiress of the legendary Greek dynasty.

Along with it, Athina Onassis has sold part of the family history too, which the new owner is unlikely to ignore. Her name is Ekaterina Rybolovleva - Russian oligarch Dmitry Rybolovlev’s daughter, aged 24.

For many years, various sources had claimed that the only heiress of Aristotle Onassis had been looking for a buyer for the island. Residents of the island of Lefkada, where the majority of the members of the maintenance personnel are, claim too that Athina has not visited Skorpios for many years. The island was deserted and unusually silent compared to the bustle during the 1950s, 1960s and 1970s and it was only a shadow of its former greatness. Only tourist visits reminded that world-renowned persons as the two most important women in Onassis’ life – Maria Callas and Jacqueline Kennedy – had spent their holidays and had fun there. Of course, the tourists could not go ashore – they were only allowed to approach it at a distance of a few dozen metres by ship or boat.

Aristotle Onassis and Maria Callas on the beach of Skorpios

The rumours that the island of Skorpios became Russian ownership were confirmed a few days ago. The official communication of Dmitry Rybolovlev’s family, which was published in the British newspaper The Independent states, "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 Skorpios and Sparti." According to the text, the new owner intends to improve Skorpios and the tiny island of Sparti by "using environmentally friendly technology." Along with the islands, the family of the Russian oligarch has bought a property with an area of ​​2 acres in the centre of Nidri on the island of Lefkada, another property with an area of ​​6 acres in Palero which provides soil for the plants of Skorpios as well as a system of four water wells that supply water to the island.

Aristotle Onassis’ monument at the port of Nidri on the island of Lefkada

So far, the ownership of Skorpios in the land register in Lefkada has not been changed. Legal sources say that this might not happen at all, since the transfer was made to circumvent the will of Aristotle Onassis, in which he prohibits the sale of the island.

For several days already, there have been trucks on Skorpios transporting items from the time when the Greek millionaire lived on the island. According to sources, most of them are old building materials that had remained stored for years. The cleaning operation started in the middle of November last year. "Those are old materials, rusty tanks and machines that are out of order. During these months, about 4 or 6 trucks have taken away from Skorpios old machines, air conditioners, refrigerators and other outdated items. Some of the trucks were covered, but there is no confirmation that other items have been transported," George Gavrilis, restaurant owner from the opposite island of Meganissi, told Ethnos newspaper. He and other residents state that the mobilization is unusual for Skorpios, where life has almost completely faded away over the past 10 years.


Some of the residents of the region, who have lived with the myth of Onassis for more than half a century now, do not approve of the news of the sale of the island. The future of the 15 members of the maintenance personnel, many of whom are to retire soon, is unclear too. So far, everyone is expecting the end of the complex legal procedures in Cyprus, Brussels, Geneva and Luxembourg and the final passage of the island into the hands of Ekaterina Rybolovleva.

"The people expect the island to come back to life again. In Nidri, we were used to receiving rich and famous people and to the continuous sailing of ships and yachts. It will be much better if the new owner decides to invest in Skorpios in this difficult time," said Deputy Mayor of Lefkada, Thassos Gazis.

Aristotle Onassis’ granddaughter Athina

"We all expect to see what the future of the island will be. We all expect to benefit from this," said Gerasimos Stavrakas, restaurant owner from Nidri, who had once worked at Onassis’ legendary yacht "Christina". He remembers how he had walked with Aristotle along the coastal street in Nidri in the sleepless nights, barefoot as sailors.

"I was talking with Onassis as if we were friends. He was a very special person and he was always friendly. We would like the people from his family to be like before but unfortunately, it is impossible."
Ekaterina Rybolovleva, aged 24, is a student at Harvard University. A year ago, she bought the most expensive flat in the world, which is in New York, for $ 88 million in cash. Ekaterina was born in Russia but lived mostly in Switzerland and Monaco over the past 16 years.

Tags: CelebritiesThe island of SkorpiosAristotle OnassisAthina OnassisDmitry RybolovlevEkaterina Rybolovleva
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