Since 2009, a set of photos has been circulating the globe, and if a recent bout of renewed interest is any indication, they will remain among the prime artifacts of the Internet Age whenever we move on to the next big thing. The series depicts a stout middle-aged man posing unsmilingly in the many rooms of a lavishly tacky mansion—images allegedly designed to attract a young bride—but the subject’s true identity remains shrouded in mystery.
The common story attached to these photos identifies him as rich Serbian bachelor Don Milisav Juan Gonzales Brzi, who supposedly issued the following romantic message: “To all unmarried ones who would like to spend their life by my side and within all the beauties of my home. Please look below at all the magic of my home that I have decorated with taste, perhaps just for YOU.” Before this version surfaced, however, he had been identified as “Igor,” a man living in St. Petersburg, Russia.
Earlier this month, Gawker and Animal New York got all turned around and reported that Rich Serbian Bachelor may have been Icelandic cult leader Vilhelm Ulfar Vihelmsson, with whom he shared a passing resemblance. Soon afterward, however, they corrected their stories to note that Vihelmsson’s family had denied any connection—the screw-up appeared to originate from an online dating ad of Vihelmsson’s that became a meme of its own in his home country.
Which brings us back to square one, and some serious head-scratchers. Was this dude just showing off his wealth, or was he really looking for love—and did he ever actually find it? Where exactly is this palatial abode, and is it even his? What’s his nationality? What’s his name? Perhaps the answers to our many lingering questions are the sort we were never meant to know. Just kidding: Russian tabloid Komsomolskaya Pravda reported back when the photos first surfaced that the mystery figure is indeed an “Igor,” owner of a furniture empire in which the so-called “castle” is just a showroom (that would explain the plastic sheeting).
According to Animal, when Pravda attempted to interview the bachelor about his hunt for a “Cinderella” aged 16 to 20, he told the female reporter “Darling, throw a coat over your naked body and come to me, because I’m not into hanging out at cafes and parks.” When she didn’t, he fumed: “So, idiot, are you rejecting my offer? I have paintings here that every museum would be jealous of, and you’re turning it down. I’m not going to rape you. We’ll have some champagne with strawberries and chat.”
We can’t imagine how he stayed single so long.
Photos via Glasstire