Kobe Bryant and daughter Gianna memorialised in statue at fatal helicopter crash site

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The late Kobe Bryant and his daughter Gianna have been memorialised with a bronze statue on the second anniversary of their death.

The statue was placed at the Los Angeles site where a helicopter carrying Kobe, Gianna and seven other passengers crashed on 26 January 2020. Everyone on board tragically died in the accident, and Gianna was just 13 at the time of her death, while NBA star Kobe was 41.

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The memorial shows Kobe and Gianna standing next to one another, as the doting father rests his hand on the teenager’s shoulder.

Gianna, who was following in her dad’s sporting footsteps as an up and coming basketball player, holds a basketball as she looks up lovingly at Kobe.

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Kobe Bryant and daughter Gianna memorialised in statue at fatal helicopter crash site
© Getty Artist Dan Medina’s bronze sculpture depicting Kobe Bryant, daughter Gianna Bryant, and the names of those who died in a helicopter crash in 2020
Kobe Bryant and daughter Gianna memorialised in statue at fatal helicopter crash site
© Getty The statue was placed on the helicopter crash site

An inscription below the pair reads: “Heroes come and go but legends are forever.”

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Dan Medina created the statue and as the memorial is only temporary, he’s called for a permanent one to be placed at the crash spot.

In the meantime, he has vowed to put the sculpture there on every anniversary of Kobe and Gianna’s deaths.

He’s currently working on a life-sized version of the memorial displayed yesterday, Wednesday 26 January, which will be over six foot-tall.

Kobe Bryant and daughter Gianna memorialised in statue at fatal helicopter crash site
© Kobe and Gianna passed away 26 January 2020 Getty
Kobe Bryant and daughter Gianna memorialised in statue at fatal helicopter crash site
© Getty Kobe Bryant has died in a helicopter crash

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“I think we need something like this to be installed on a permanent basis,” Dan told TMZ Sports.

“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.”

As well as Kobe and Gianna, seven others died in the crash; Orange Coast College baseball coach John Altobelli, his wife Keri Altobelli and their daughter Alyssa, Christina Mauser, Sarah Chester and her daughter Payton, and pilot Ara Zobayan.

They had all been on their way to a youth basketball tournament when the helicopter encountered thick fog, leading to the hillside crash.

Kobe Bryant and daughter Gianna memorialised in statue at fatal helicopter crash site
© Vanessa Bryant/Instagram The father and daughter are survived by Vanessa, Natalia, Capri, and Bianka Bryant

Kobe and Gianna are survived by Vanessa Bryant, the mother of Kobe’s children, as well as their other three children; Natalia, Capri and Bianka.

Vanessa, 39, filed a lawsuit in September 2020, where she claimed that she and her family suffered emotional distress because members of the LA Police Department and fire service shared graphic photos of the crash site.

She’s now seeking damages for “negligence, invasion of privacy and intentional infliction of emotional distress”.

The widow’s lawyer alleges that the photos ended up on 28 LA officers’ phones, as well as several belong to fire fighters.

A trial for the lawsuit is set to begin next month.

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