Kobe Bryant and daughter Gianna immortalised in statue at helicopter crash site
The sculptor hopes the piece can become a permanent feature on the site
A sculptor in Los Angeles has honored the anniversary of the deaths of Kobe and Gigi Bryant by placing a statue of the two at the site where they tragically passed away in 2020.
Artist Dan Medina created the 72kg (160lbs) bronze figure and then single-handedly took it up to the scene of the accident in Calabasas on Wednesday.
The piece is inscribed with the phrase 'Heroes come and go but legends are forever' and honours the other seven victims of the helicopter crash with their names on a plaque at the base of the statue.
Along with Bryant and his daughter, the other victims included Orange Coast College baseball coach John Altobelli, his wife Keri Altobelli and their daughter Alyssa, who was Gianna's teammate, Christina Mauser, who helped Kobe coach his daughter's basketball team, Sarah Chester and her daughter Payton, who was also a member of Gianna's team, and the helicopter pilot Ara Zobayan.
The statue depicts Kobe looking down at Gianna, who was just 13-years-old at the time of her passing, with his left arm on her shoulder.
She's depicted carrying a basketball while looking up at her father, both of them wearing their respective basketball uniforms.
Whilst the sculpture is only a temporary piece, Medina told TMZSports that he is planning to display it every anniversary of the tragedy and on Bryant’s birthday.
He also said that he hopes the statue can become a permanent feature on the site.
"I think we need something like this to be installed on a permanent basis. It hasn’t been done yet and this is maybe a catalyst for that.
"But I’m willing to donate whatever’s here at no cost. That’s the hope, to find a way to have it permanently installed."
Medina decided a memorial was needed after he visited the site and found just "a few rocks and dried flowers."
The sculptor added that Bryant was much more than just a basketball player, explaining that he admired the star as an "intellect," a musician and a father.
"Every book he read, he made a point to contact the author. He spoke many languages, he learned how to play the piano on his own," Medina said.
Kobe and Gigi were on their way to a girls basketball game when the helicopter they were in crashed.
Wednesday (January 26) marked the second anniversary of the tragic incident.
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