Sculpture of Kobe Bryant, Gianna placed at crash site as memorial

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LOS ANGELES — The artist who created a sculpture of Kobe and Gianna “Gigi” Bryant is hoping there will be a permanent site for a memorial.

Southern California artist Dan Medina placed the sculpture on Wednesday at the site of the helicopter crash in Calabasas, California, where the NBA legend and his 13-year old daughter died on Jan. 26, 2020. Medina brought the 150-pound piece there before sunrise and removed it at the end of the day.

The statue depicts Bryant in his Los Angeles Lakers uniform with his arm around Gigi, also in her basketball uniform and holding a ball.

The base has the inscription “heroes come and go but legends are forever,” along with the names of the other crash victims – Christina Mauser; Payton and Sarah Chester; John, Keri and Alyssa Altobelli; and pilot Ara Zobayan.

Fans took photos of the statue along with leaving flowers and other memorials at the crash site.

Medina told the Los Angeles Times that the statue is a smaller version of a life-size sculpture he is working on that he hopes can find a location in downtown Los Angeles.

“You come up here and it is kind of emotional,” Medina said. “The flowers, the jerseys, the hats blow away, and I think we need something more permanent. I kind of want to follow the law, respect the locals, respect the Santa Monica Mountains.”