Myriam Ullens, a Belgian art collector, was allegedly murdered by her stepson outside her home.
Ullens was a significant modern art collector who founded the Ullens Center for Contemporary Art in Beijing with her husband Guy.
According to numerous accounts in the Belgian news, Myriam Ullens, a significant collector who supported and promoted Chinese contemporary art alongside her husband Guy Ullens, was murdered today (March 29) in front of the couple’s home in the village of Ohain, south of Brussels. She was in her 70s.
According to accounts, her stepson Nicolas Ullens, who has been arrested by police, shot her. Guy, her spouse, reportedly made it through the tragedy.
Around 10 a.m., while Myriam and Guy were in their car outside of their home, Nicolas opened fire on his stepmother, who was pronounced dead at the scene, according to La Libre. According to several stories, Myriam and Nicolas had a protracted argument about inheritance-related concerns.
Myriam and Guy Ullens, who got married in 1999, have long been significant and well-respected art collectors. They initially focused on collecting traditional Chinese scroll paintings before turning their attention to modern and contemporary art.
They established the Ullens Center for Contemporary Art in Beijing in 2007, which was thought to be the country’s first contemporary art gallery and displayed pieces from their more than 2,000-piece collection. They sold the museum in 2017 and gave the new name, UCCA Center for Contemporary Art, to a group of investors. They then carried on and expanded their collecting endeavors under the auspices of Foundation Guy & Myriam Ullens, a Swiss organization.
The UCCA’s director, Philip Tinari, said in a statement on Thursday that Myriam Ullens’ “vision and passion—her love for art, belief in cultural interchange, and devotion to helping others—are at the foundation of UCCA’s history and principles.” As we continue the work of the institution that she and Guy so generously built and supported during its first ten years, we will remember her strength, elegance, creativity, and generosity.
The Mimi Foundation was established in 2004 by Myriam, also known as Mimi, a cancer survivor, in order to establish hospitals with therapy facilities for cancer patients. She co-organized an exhibition and charity auction in 2013 to benefit the Mimi Foundation at Frieze Week in London.
“Because of our long-standing and deep ties with them, many of the artists in this project are Chinese. This is simply the tip of our iceberg, which we are actively tracking and gathering with the younger generation, Myriam said at the time. “A collection is like an organic living entity. It changes in a natural way.
Germany’s Cologne is where Myriam was born. She achieved early success in the food industry before marrying Guy, a Belgian baron and industrialist, and dedicating her life to philanthropy and fashion (launching the Maison-Ullens brand). The Ullens School, a school in Nepal, was one of the charity endeavors of the pair.
One of Guy’s four children with his first wife, Micheline Franckx, is Nicolas Ullens, a former agent of the Belgian state security.
A request for more information was not immediately answered by the Ullenses’ foundation.