Billionaire French Art Collector Shot Dead In Suspected Professional Hit

Neuilly sur Seine ParisLuxurious suburb Neuilly sur Seine is where Nicolas Sarkozy began his political career.

Photo: Wikimedia Commons

French billionaire Claude Dray has been discovered shot dead at his home near Paris, reports Le Parisian.Dray was discovered by his butler at his well-secured mansion in Neuilly-sur-Seine around 9am on Tuesday morning. He was last seen at 11pm Monday night by the butler.

Police reports suggest that Dray was shot in the neck, and three casing were found near his body. There were no signs of forced entry and no signs of a struggle, and police believe a silencer was used.

76-year-old Dray, one of France’s most prominent Jews, had made his fortune in hotels, before becoming a prominent art collector. ArtInfo describes him as “one of France’s most important collectors of fine art and Art déco furniture” and reports that he set a world record for a sale of 20th Century decorative arts.

His wealth appears to have made him the subject of threats, according to Le Parisian. Someone had attempted to extort him in 2009, and a case had been filed by the prosecutor of Paris in spring 2010.

Reports in Le Figaro suggest that Dray was known for a hard edge to his personality. “His wife is lovely, he was a difficult man, who was not really good news in the world of Parisian art,” one gallery told the paper. “He does not let go, we could not negotiate with him. When you offer a price, he gave a three times lower, and he was stubborn. “

Dray spent only part of his time at the home, preferring to spend the majority of the year with his wife in their Miami home.

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