A British millionaire who vanished six months ago was found living on the streets of Milan after a violent mugging reportedly caused her to lose all of her memory.

The woman, named as 51-year-old Ariane Lak by Italian media, was discovered sleeping in a busy shopping area of Milan.

Ariane, a film production company manager thought to be a millionaire, had gone missing six months before being discovered in Milan's Piazza Cesare Beccaria.

The family of the Iranian-born British citizen, reported to speak four languages, turned to a private detective to find her.

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Ariane had apparently been missing for six months before her family brought in a private detective to find her.
Ariane had apparently been missing for six months before her family brought in a private detective to find her.

Ariane was last seen at her home, the location of which is currently unknown, in March, but her family believed she may be in Milan as she had friends there.

It was not clear why Italian nor English police ever became involved in the hunt.

The unnamed detective, an Albanian former policeman, asked around after Ariane in Milan and showed people her picture.

Some homeless people said they had seen her sleeping rough, before a hairdresser told him that he had Ariane as a customer and said she was "dirty".

When the detective eventually found Ariane, he summoned her sister to Milan to help her, as she Ariane appeared to have suffered memory loss and confusion.

She was quoted as saying: "I cannot explain... Maybe I was walking, I was assaulted and robbed, and I fell to the ground I hit my head.

"I'm in love with Milan. Residents, passers-by and volunteers offered help but I did not want to... I refused. They gave me food and I was refusing... I was rummaging in bins, trying to eat, I was standing in front of restaurants and hotels so I could eat something."