- Police are searching for three gunmen after the death of Ivor Maciejowski and Christian Pandolfino.
Tributes have poured in for a British art dealer and his Maltese financier partner, found dead in their home in Malta.
Police arrived at the home of Ivor Maciejowski and Christian Pandolfino in the resort town of Sliema on 18 August after reports of gunfire.
The found British art dealer Maciejowski dead from multiple gunshot wounds on the top floor at 10.30pm. Meanwhile his Maltese partner Christian Pandolfino was also dead on the lower floor of the property.
Police are now hunting three gunmen who were seen entering the property. The trio fled the scene in a white car, driven by another man.
Pandolfino was also a collector of art and the couple had a large amount of art in their house. Indeed Maciejowski had posed for selfies on Instagram alongside some of their collection – including works signed by Andy Warhol.
Police haven’t confirmed the motive or whether the gunmen took any valuables. However, officers have said there were signs of a struggle.
CCTV shows Christian left their home around 7pm to have dinner with friends while Ivor remained at home.
Christian returned around 10pm and the three gunmen entered the property at 10.19. Police haven’t issued descriptions of the suspects.
Witnesses reported gunshots to police at around 10.23pm.
‘Tragic is an understatement’
The shooting has shocked Malta – particularly the LGBT+ community.
Malta Pride posted a statement saying: ‘Tragic is an understatement.
‘RIP Christian Pandolfino and Ivor Maciejowski, a loving Maltese/British couple murdered last night in their own home in Sliema.’
And in an update the organization said:
‘Although details of the case are still emerging, it seems that this was a botched hold-up and not necessarily a homophobic hate crime. It would be sensible to wait and see at this point without making any rash conclusions.’
Meanwhile friends have explained how the pair have been together for at least four years. They met in London where they were both living at the time.
Maciejowski, aged 30, previously owned an online gallery in the UK which closed in 2019.
Pandolfino was a shareholder of Art Decor Properties and Interiors based in Silema – where they lived. He had previously worked in finance in London and may have trained as a doctor.
The couple were also keen fitness fans and Christian’s nephew, Luca Pandolfino, described them as ‘two gentle giants’.
He added they were ‘the two nicest people you could ever meet’.
Likewise Ivor’s brother said he had ‘an unrivalled character, so full of life yet so soft’.
He added: ‘You were unapologetically yourself, you lead with love, you lived to create, to learn, to better yourself at every turn.
‘You were a rock when I was at my lowest point and you put me back on track when I lost sight of what truly mattered.’
‘Beautiful, kind souls’
Meanwhile friends have also added their tributes.
Jordan Munn, a close friend, had known them for years. He said they were ‘selfless and funny and just friendly and fantastic and fabulous in every way’.
Another friend, Rebecca Dimech, called them ‘beautiful, kind souls’. She added they were ‘amazing people that loved each other very much’.
Moreover friend Steph Spiteri said: ‘They were so kind to me. They were a gentle couple [and] did not deserve any of this.’
The investigation continues.