As friends, family, and the community farewell the hugely beloved Sisto Malaspina at a State Funeral in Melbourne this morning, the famed restauranteur has been immortalised in a stunning new tribute mural on the city’s fringe.
Malaspina, the co-owner of Melbourne CBD institution Pellegrini’s, was murdered just over a week ago during the horrific Bourke Street attack.
The new mural, in Carlton, captures much of what made Sisto such a revered figure in the city; his warmth, charm, and unmistakably generous smile.
Local artist Steve Cross painted the mural, which sits at the corner of Lygon and Waterloo Streets in Carlton, Melbourne’s famed Italian precinct, off his own back – uncommissioned and self-funded – as an enduring tribute to a man loved and respected by so many.
Cross began by teasing the artwork in its early stages yesterday.
And after working on it overnight – throughout a particularly balmy Melbourne evening – the mural was completed by this morning. Frankly? It’s stunning.
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#SteveCross memorial piece for melbourne icon #SistoMalaspina nearly finished. I knew Sisto for nearly 40 years and he always made me feel welcome in #Pellegrinis – chatting over a coffee at the counter or a lasagne in the kitchen – he made this cafe a safe spot for everyone and anyone who dropped in making this whole story even sadder. He will be missed and fondly remembered. Steve painted this on his own, uncommissioned and self funded as a tribute to Sisto and as a gift for his family and melbourne community – excellent work mate – you too are a top bloke. #streetart #memorial #tribute #RIP #mural #melbourne #landofsunshine #streetartcanmakeadifference @mrstevecross ????????????????????
Absolutely beautiful. The purple and yellow colour scheme is an inspired touch, particularly for a place famous for being open long into the night.
Hundreds upon hundreds of people are currently filling St Patrick’s Cathedral in East Melbourne to farewell Sisto, with many more watching on from outside.
But with a legacy this great, and an artwork this beautiful, Sisto’s spirit will loom large over the city for a long, long, long time.