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Monaco property heiress dies after French Riviera shooting

A luxury car is parked in front of the Casino de Monte Carlo in Monaco April 9, 2014. REUTERS/Eric Gaillard

NICE, France: A 77-year-old heiress from one of Monaco's richest families died on Wednesday after she was shot several times outside a hospital in the French Riviera city of Nice earlier this month.

Helene Pastor underwent surgery and was placed under artificial respiration after suffering multiple injuries in her abdomen, neck and face in the brazen May 6 attack.

She died early Wednesday, a hospital source said.

Her chauffeur Mohammed Darwich died on May 10 of injuries sustained in the attack. The shooting occurred as Pastor was preparing to leave the hospital after visiting her ailing son.

The attacker used a sawn off shotgun and fired several shots before making off with an accomplice.

Pastor had inherited a huge real estate and construction business set up by her Italian grandfather Jean-Baptiste Pastor, a stone mason who came to Monaco in 1880.

As the sleepy principality in the French Riviera slowly grew into a playground for the world's rich and famous, the family fortunes skyrocketed.

The Pastors became close to Monaco's royal family, the Grimaldis, and Jean-Baptiste Pastor's business grew by leaps, especially after World War II, when he bought prime seafront land in a barren area and then developed it.

"Our grandfather was a visionary. At the time, there was nothing to the east of the Monte Carlo casino," Delphine Pastor, one of his descendants has said.

But the real jackpot came in 1966 when Prince Rainier, whose fairytale wedding to Hollywood goddess Grace Kelly helped catapult Monaco to international fame, gave permission to Helene Pastor's father Gildo to build high-rise buildings along the seafront.

That helped the Pastors build up a real estate portfolio fetching stunning rents.

Despite her wealth, Helene Pastor kept a low profile in Monaco, unlike her more flamboyant brother Michel, who was president of the AS Monaco football club.

Helene Pastor owned tens of thousands of square metres of real estate in one of the world's most expensive areas, including the Gildo Pastor Business Center which spans 90,000 square metres ((68,751 square feet).

French prosecutors opened a judicial investigation into attempted murder before Pastor's death, but investigators have few leads.

Police have arrested a man who called the Pastor family several times after the shooting, claiming to know the identity of the mastermind and offering to divulge the information in exchange for cash.

A court has ordered that he undergo psychiatric tests.

 

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Summary

A 77-year-old heiress from one of Monaco's richest families died on Wednesday after she was shot several times outside a hospital in the French Riviera city of Nice earlier this month.

The shooting occurred as Pastor was preparing to leave the hospital after visiting her ailing son.

Pastor had inherited a huge real estate and construction business set up by her Italian grandfather Jean-Baptiste Pastor, a stone mason who came to Monaco in 1880 .

Helene Pastor owned tens of thousands of square metres of real estate in one of the world's most expensive areas, including the Gildo Pastor Business Center which spans 90,000 square metres ((68,751 square feet).


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