A Los Angeles gym owner is fighting her landlord to keep a mural honoring Kobe Bryant from becoming advertising space.
In an interview with the Los Angeles Times, Cecilia Moran, the owner of Hardcore Fitness said, “It’s a piece of art that is honoring an iconic person. That mural also benefits advertising and has a lot of meaning to the city and to Kobe fans. So I said I don’t agree. I don’t want to make the fans mad, and I don’t want to be disrespectful, and I don’t think that mural should be removed.”
Moran’s landlord indicated that he would have the mural removed and would send her the bill for the removal if she did not comply with his wishes.
The mural, which was painted for the gym by Louie Palsino three years ago, depicts Bryant and his daughter Gianna both adorned with angel wings and looking at each other lovingly. The two died in a helicopter crash on January 26, 2020, in Calabasas, California.
“Even if the landlord wants to make money, that’s a landmark people come from all around the world to visit, so it’s good for him, his property, every party in this,” Palsino told the Times, adding that it didn’t make “much sense in taking it down for advertisement.”
Moran says she got her landlord’s permission before letting Palsino create the mural, and the landlord was aware of its creation and did not object to it. Palsino had asked Moran for permission to create the mural shortly after the deaths of Kobe and Gianna, and Moran put up $2,500 of her own money toward supplies and equipment.
A Change.org petition requesting that Moran’s landlord reverse course on the mural has accumulated more than 64,000 signatures; 54,000 were added on Sept. 17.
Vanessa Bryant, Kobe’s widow, shared a link to the petition using Instagram Stories, which is likely the reason for the massive increase in signatures. Moran’s landlord, however, has yet to respond publicly to the request from Bryant or to Moran’s public statements.
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