A Los Angeles gym owner is engaged in a battle to preserve a mural dedicated to Kobe and Gianna Bryant adorning the wall of her establishment.
Cecilia Moran, the gym’s proprietor, took to Instagram on Friday to announce the impending removal of the mural. Painted by Louie Palsino, this artwork features the late NBA legend and his daughter, who tragically perished in a helicopter crash in January 2020, depicted with angelic wings and sharing a loving gaze.
In her Instagram post, Moran expressed profound sadness about the situation and the mural’s significance, not only to the city of Los Angeles and Lakers enthusiasts but also as a heartfelt tribute to Kobe and Gigi Bryant. She conveyed her strong opposition to its removal, while acknowledging the need to adhere to regulations. Moran earnestly appealed for assistance in preserving this cherished artwork.
Since receiving the removal request, Moran has discussed the matter with various news outlets, including the Los Angeles Times. She emphasized the mural’s role in honoring an iconic figure and its meaningfulness to the city and Kobe’s fans. Moran’s landlord’s intention is to replace the mural with advertising, a move she staunchly disagrees with.
According to the Times, Moran’s landlord threatened to remove the mural himself and charge her for the cost if she doesn’t comply with the removal.
Louie Palsino, the mural’s artist, who created it over three years ago, echoed Moran’s sentiments, emphasizing the mural’s significance as a landmark drawing visitors from around the world. He pointed out the value it brings to the landlord and the entire community, questioning the wisdom of taking it down for advertising purposes.
While Moran did not seek her landlord’s permission for the mural initially, she asserted that he was informed about it before completion and did not raise objections. The mural was conceived as a tribute to Kobe and Gianna shortly after their tragic passing, with Palsino undertaking the project for free. Moran contributed $2,500 for supplies and equipment, turning it into a collaborative effort with the local community.
A Change.org petition has gained traction, with over 18,000 signatures, urging Moran’s landlord to reconsider the decision and maintain this meaningful tribute. Moran is determined to stand up for what she believes, seeking support from the community, the Lakers, the mayor of Los Angeles, Vanessa Bryant, and Lakers enthusiasts to preserve this cherished mural.