Purchase of Skorpios
Recently, the island was bought by Russian billionaire Dmitry Rybolovlev, who is converting the island into a luxury resort.
Between the purchase of the island and renovations, Ryboloblev has already invested millions of euros into Skorpios. Previously, the owner was Athina Onassis Roussel, Onassis’ granddaughter. Nearby is the public island of Lefkada, where a small bridge connects the island to Preveza on the mainland.
Aristotle Onassis’s Last Will
Onassis stated in his will that the island would remain in the family as long as they could cover the expenses. Otherwise, if they could not pay the expenses, it would go to either Olympic Airways or the state.
When Aristotle Onassis died, he passed the island on to his daughter, Christina. But she died young in 1988, so the granddaughter Athina inherited it. In 2013, Athina Onassis sold many of her assets to Ekaterina, the daughter of Dmitry Rubolovlev. As for the island, the deal between Athina and Ekaterina had a long-term lease of Skorpios for 99 years as well as the nextdoor island, Sparti. However, the name on the land register will not change, even though the island is leased.
Renovations on Skorpios
A number of international architecture firms made the designs for the island resort, include Snøhetta from Norway. The same company is known for designing the Library of Alexandria in Egypt, Europe’s first underwater restaurant, and the headquarters of Le Monde in Paris.
The project is expected to create dozens of new jobs, according to a press release by the Greek Ministry of Tourism, Development, and Investment, which approved the development. When complete, the island will include a spa, villas, a sports field, a farm, a vineyard, a helipad, and a dock for large yachts. The project is called “VIP Exclusive Club” and has not yet been completed.
What it Costs to Stay on Skorpios
Although the exact amount is not yet confirmed, the resort will likely be available to rent on a weekly basis for over 1 million euros, and the island will not allow more than 50 guests at a time. Even though this Ionian island now is the property of Rybolovlev, Greeks still know Skorpios as “the island of Onassis.” The Rybolovlev family will likely also use the island for private enjoyment for some of the year, and will rent it in the remaining time.
Onassis’s Legacy on Skorpios
When Onassis bought the island, in 1963, it was 3.5 million drachmas (today, about 13,000 euros), according to the Wall Street Journal. He brought in thousands of trees and special plants in order to host glamorous parties on Skorpios.
At the time, in Onassis’s days, the island was luxury. Today, however, it needs a lot of updating to be desirable.
One symbol of the Onassis family remains on the island. The chapel that holds the tombs of Onassis’s family is a reminder of the island’s past. Also still standing is the “Pink House,” a villa built for Kennedy Onassis where the First Lady spent most of her time on the island.
Rybolovlev, a successful businessman as was Onassis, spends millions on real estate, art, and football. He bought Monaco’s football club, AS Monaco, back in 2011.
One of his highest-profile purchases is a da Vinci painting worth 127 million euros called “Salvator Mundi”. He sold it a few years later for 3 times the price.