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Abramovich didn’t buy his girlfriend an Italian restaurant

The oligarch’s press secretary denies rumors of acquiring the restaurant for $5.5 million

Italian newspapers were all over the latest sensation — Roman Abramovich bought his girlfriend, Darya Jukova, a restaurant opposite Castel Sant’Angelo in a charming corner of Rome on the shore of the Tiber. The purchase reportedly cost the oligarch $5.5 million.

Abramovich’s wealth is estimated at an astounding $24 billion with assets as varied as Millhouse Capital and the Chelsea Football Club. For the oligarch, buying such an establishment is about the same as the ordinary Joe purchasing a lighter at a convenience store. However, the billionaire’s press service denied the deal had gone through.

The purchase under question isn’t as curious as the fact that international media have pinned more and more whimsical buys on the oligarch as of late. Less than two weeks ago, the tabloid said Abramovich had spent $500 million on a villa on the French Riviera, which turned out to be untrue. It’s also unclear if the oligarch purchased a sculpture by Swiss artist Alberto Giacometti ($15 million) and a painting by British master Lucian Freud ($33.6 million)…

Of course, Abramovich can afford almost anything. He’s so wealthy that Western journalists see him as the mastermind behind all hefty purchases made by foreigners abroad. If a Russian purchases anything over several million dollars — say no more, it was Abramovich. For Europe, all Russia’s oligarchs have merged into one face. And Abramovich has forced the Western world to learn his tough-to-pronounce last name by heart.

On the other hand, big boys like big toys, and Abramovich doesn’t like to go without them either. At the end of the day, though, it’s just one more restaurant, or one less castle…

Abramovich probably laughs while sipping his morning coffee, reading about the latest rumors that the international media have thought up.

Nikolay Gerasimov

At the Same Time

In a telephone conversation with KP, Julian Cafe Director Fabio Stortsi admitted that the deal had in fact been made.

“I confirm everything that’s being said about the restaurant’s purchase by the Italian press; 3.5 million euro ($5.5 million) was paid,” he said.

Stortsi stressed the purchase was “a kill” for the price — dining halls with 40 tables in a 17-Century building with the head chef, waiters and other kitchen staff. But the director avoided mentioning Abramovich or Jukovaya.