Myriam Ullens, a Belgian art collector, was allegedly shot and assassinated outside her home by her stepson.
Ullens and her husband Guy founded the Ullens Center for Contemporary Art in Beijing. Ullens was a significant modern art collector.
Today (March 29), according to numerous stories in the Belgian news, Myriam Ullens, a prominent collector who supported and promoted Chinese contemporary art alongside her husband Guy Ullens, was murdered outside the couple’s home in the village of Ohain, south of Brussels.
Aged 70, she was. According to accounts, she was shot by her stepson Nicolas Ullens, who has been taken into custody by the police. Guy, her spouse, is said to have lived through the tragedy.
According to La Libre, Myriam and Guy were in their car outside their home at the time Nicolas opened fire on his stepmother, who passed away instantly. According to numerous stories, Myriam and Nicolas had been at odds for a long time over inheritance-related concerns.
Myriam and Guy Ullens have been significant and well-respected art collectors for many years. They got married in 1999. They initially focused on collecting ancient Chinese scroll paintings but gradually turned to modern art. They opened the Ullens Center for Contemporary Art in Beijing in 2007, which at the time was the country’s first museum dedicated to contemporary art, and displayed pieces from their extensive collection of more than 2,000 pieces.
They sold the museum in 2017 and renamed it the UCCA Center for Contemporary Art. They kept collecting and expanded their operations under the auspices of the Swiss-based Foundation Guy & Myriam Ullens.
In a statement released on Thursday, Philip Tinari, the director of the UCCA, said that Myriam Ullens’ “vision and passion—her love for art, belief in cultural interchange, and devotion to assisting others—are at the center of UCCA’s history and principles.”
In carrying out the work of the organization that she and Guy so generously started and supported through its first ten years, we will remember her strength, style, originality, and generosity. We are surprised and saddened by her passing.
The Mimi Foundation was established in 2004 by Myriam, also known as Mimi, a cancer survivor, in order to establish facilities inside hospitals that would offer physical and psychological rehabilitation to people receiving cancer treatment. She assisted in co-ordinating an exhibition and charity auction to benefit the Mimi Foundation in 2013 during Frieze Week in London.
“Our long and close relationship with them is the reason why many of the artists in this project are Chinese. At the moment, Myriam said to Ocula, “This is simply the top of our iceberg—that we are continuing to track and collect intensely with the new generation. “A collection resembles a living, breathing organism. It changes in an organic way.
In Germany’s Cologne, Myriam was born. After experiencing early success in the food sector, she married Guy, a Belgian businessman and baron, and dedicated herself to philanthropy and fashion (founding the brand Maison-Ullens). In addition to other charity endeavors, the couple founded the Ullens School, a school in Nepal.
Guy had four children with Micheline Franckx, his first wife, including Nicolas Ullens, a former state security agent for Belgium.
An inquiry for more information was not immediately answered by the foundation of the Ullenses.