Marijana Bego, Manhattan art gallery owner jumps to her death
An 'eccentric' co-owner of a high-end New York art gallery plunged to her death from the roof of the building which housed her business.
Marijana Bego, 54, was found lying in the middle of Madison Avenue after falling from the top of the five-storey building in the Upper East Side, home to her Bego-Ezair gallery in Madison Avenue.
Police believe she committed suicide, according to the New York Post.
Ms Bego, originally from Switzerland, owned two other New York galleries, which were frequently visited by members of high society such as the Hearst family and descendants of Winston Churchill, said the paper.
Renowned for featuring up-and-coming talent in her galleries, Ms Bego was in business with real estate executive Khedoury Ezair.
News of her death, which detectives at first believed was caused by a hit-and-run accident because if severe injuries to her legs, has sent shockwaves through the New York art scene.
A close friend told the paper: 'I just can’t believe she would jump. Maybe its just the stress of the season.
'She was very outgoing and edgy because that’s the nature of this business. She dressed very edgy, presenting herself to be younger than she really was.'
Artist Wanda Murphy said Ms Bego sold one of her paintings for $30,000.
'Her focus in life was art,' she said.
'That’s all she ever lived for.'
R. Couri Hay, whose PR firm represented Ms Bego’s gallery had known her for 10 years, and added she was always 'extremely high-strung and eccentric, and kind of kooky'.
Earlier this year, Ms Bego celebrated her 300th art opening, with a collection of oil works by Lash called Imagined Memories — A Family Album
The friend who spoke to police said she last saw Ms Bego at a gallery showing in October, and that she appeared to be in good spirits.
Ms Bego was pronounced dead at Lennox Hill Hospital, having suffered multipal injuries,