State Funeral For Sisto Malaspina After Family Accepts Offer, Releases Statement
Sisto Malaspina will have a state funeral after the beloved Melbourne restaurateur was killed in Friday's Bourke Street terror attack.
Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews confirmed Malaspina's family had accepted his offer of a state funeral, to be held next week, on social media on Monday afternoon.
"Sisto Malaspina was a Victorian icon," the post read.
"I spoke with his family again this morning, and they have accepted my offer of a state funeral next week."
Malaspina was tragically killed when Hassan Khalif Shire Ali pulled out a knife after his car burst into flames on Melbourne's Bourke Street.
Two other men were injured in the attack before Shire Ali was shot by police. He later died.
Following their acceptance of the Premier's offer, Malaspina's family released a statement on Monday, saying they are "deeply moved" by the outpouring of support after his death.
“To the people of Melbourne, your heartfelt tributes have shown us why our Dad loved this great city so much," the statement read.
“Dad was a larger than life character and his natural generosity made every individual he met feel welcome and important. Each customer of Dad’s was given the same respect and service regardless of their standing in society."
The family thanked emergency services personnel for their "bravery" and "heroism" during Friday's attack.
“To him everyone was special. His love and passion for his customers remained the same for over 40 years. To him it was a joy to go to work every day," the statement said of Malaspina.
“He was a distinctly recognizable figure in his colourful choice of clothing and his flamboyant personality. To us he was just a beautiful man, a loving husband and a doting father.”
As a well-known and well-loved fixture of the Melbourne hospitality scene, the 74-year-old has been widely mourned. A large floral tribute outside the cafe he became famous for continues to grow, as tributes flow in from across the city.
Pellegrini's remains closed for another day, with a large sign in the cafe's window indicating it will open at 8am Tuesday.
The funeral will be held on Monday or Tuesday, the Herald Sun reports.
More to come.