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Statue of Kobe Bryant, daughter Gianna erected at site of 2020 helicopter crash

Jan. 26 (UPI) -- A statue of late Los Angeles Lakers great Kobe Bryant and his daughter, Gianna, was placed at the site of their helicopter crash in Calabasas, Calif., on Wednesday, two years to the day of the tragic deaths of them and seven others aboard the aircraft.

The four-foot statue, which was created by sculptor Dan Medina, depicts Bryant in his Lakers uniform with his arm around Gianna, who also is wearing a uniform while holding a basketball at her side. The pair are looking at each other while smiling.

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Medina told NBC Los Angeles that he brought the 160-pound bronze statue with him on a 4 a.m. hike to the crash site in the hills sitting above Calabasas. The sculptor said the figure will temporarily remain at the site before being removed.

The statue lists the names of the Bryants and the seven other victims who were killed in the Jan. 26, 2020, helicopter crash -- John Altobelli, his wife, Keri, and their daughter, Alyssa; Christina Mauser; Sarah Chester and her daughter, Payton; and pilot Ara Zobayan -- on its base.

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It also includes the inscription, "Heroes come and go, but legends are forever."

The helicopter transporting all eight passengers was on its way to a girls' basketball tournament that Gianna, 13, was scheduled to compete in. The aircraft wrecked in the hills west of Los Angeles amid extremely foggy conditions, and federal safety officials have since blamed pilot error for the crash.

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