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Belgian art collector Myriam Ullens killed after a suspected family feud over money

The suspect is her stepson

Jovita Trujillo
Jovita Trujillo - Los Angeles
Senior WriterLos Angeles
MARCH 31, 2023 8:10 PM EDT

Sad news came yesterday that Myriam Ullens, a Belgian entrepreneur, philanthropist, and art collector has died. She was 70 years old. The story is tragic, as she was shot in her car, and her stepson is the suspect. Her husband Guy Ullen’s son, 57-year-old Nicolas Ullens de Schootenwas has reportedly confessed.

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Nicolas is a former state security agent and one of four children of Guy, who is 88. Guy survived the attack. It was reported by Daily Mail that he confessed to killing her and wounding his billionaire father in the leg. He fired a total of nine shots, shooting Myriam 4 times in the head, per DailyMail.

He reportedly accused her of trying to steal the family’s wealth. His sister Brigitte said it “blew up” Wednesday over a dispute about the family home. She told Nieuwsblad newspaper “Our family has been devastated for years. “Only one thing mattered to Myriam: she wanted the family fortune for herself, and we didn’t count.” “She even forbade dad to stay in touch with us. In recent years, dad’s mental state deteriorated and she took advantage of it,” she said.

Myriam founded the Maison Ullens label and used her wealth to give back. “With her husband Guy Ullens, she initiated in 1993 an ambitious educational program in Nepal, the Ullens School, which is both an orphanage, a care center, and an educational center for primary and secondary education,” Maison Ullens said in a statement. They described her as an “entrepreneur, benefactor and collector, engaged in art, fashion, and philanthropy.”

“After surviving cancer in 2003, she developed the Mimi Ullens Foundation, a foundation active in cancer research in eight French, Belgian, and Swiss hospitals,” it continued.

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Myriam married her husband in 1999 and had an impressive art collection focused on contemporary work from China, per art net news. Her first piece was a classical Chinese scroll painting. Their artwork numbered around 2000 when they opened the Ullens Center for Contemporary Art in 2007 in China. They sold the museum in 2017, and it was renamed the UCCA Center for Contemporary Art.