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Heiress' Santa Barbara estate will become an art museum

June 22, 2011 |  4:22 pm

Photo: Huguette Marcelle Clark. Credit: Associated Press When Huguette Marcelle Clark died last month at the age of 104, there were plenty of questions about what would become of the reclusive heiress’ estate. 

When her will was made public Wednesday, her intention became clear: Her Santa Barbara estate -– known as Bellosguardo, for "beautiful view" –- is to become an art museum housing her extensive collection of paintings, rare books and musical instruments. About three-fourths of her holdings, now valued at $400 million, will go to a foundation that will run the facility.  

Before her death May 24, Clark had not set foot on her Santa Barbara estate for at least 50 years. However, it was carefully maintained through the decades. 

Clark, a woman known to prefer her solitude, became a subject of intense publicity last year, with allegations from distant relatives that her longtime attorney and CPA had mishandled her affairs.

Both men are named in her 2005 will as her executors and each was left $500,000. Her longtime nurse also received a gift that has been estimated at about $37 million.


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Photo: Huguette Marcelle Clark. Credit: Associated Press