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#pounditTuesday, May 17, 2022

Kobe Bryant, daughter Gigi honored with statue at crash site

Gianna Kobe Bryant

Wednesday marked the two-year anniversary of the fatal helicopter crash that killed Kobe Bryant, his daughter Gianna and seven other people in California. One local artist worked extremely hard to pay tribute to the victims.

Dan Medina, a sculptor from West Hills, made a statue depicting Kobe with his arm around Gianna. He dragged the 160-pound statue to the site of the Jan. 26, 2020 Calabasas crash at 4 a.m. on Wednesday morning. The statue also features the names of the seven other victims and the quote “Heroes come and go but legends are forever.”

Medina says the bronze statue is a smaller version of a life-size one he is working on.

“You come up here and it is kind of emotional,” Medina told Richard Winton of the Los Angeles Times. “The flowers, the jerseys, the hats blow away, and I think we need something more permanent.”

It’s unclear how permanent the statue will be, however. The plan was to remove it at sundown on Wednesday, as Medina said he is aware he would need permits to place it there permanently. He is hoping the larger version will be on display in downtown Los Angeles someday.

The site where the helicopter crashed is located about 1,000 feet above the road. Medina towed the sculpture up the hill on a cart. He said the handle of his cart broke and he had to use tape to keep it together for the last part of the trek.

We’ve seen some outstanding tributes to Kobe and Gianna over the last two years. Medina’s sculpture was certainly one of the more impressive ones.

Photo: Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports

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