Kobe Bryant

Downtown LA gym owner desperate to preserve beloved Kobe Bryant mural

The owner of Hardcore Fitness says her landlord gave her until Sept. 30 to remove one of Los Angeles' best-known Kobe Bryant murals.

NBC Universal, Inc.

A downtown Los Angeles gym owner is fighting to keep a mural depicting Kobe Bryant and his 13-year-old daughter Gianna on the exterior wall of her business.

Cecilia Moran, owner of Hardcore Fitness, said she received a request from her landlord to remove the mural that was painted on the outside of her business after Bryant and his daughter were among nine people killed in a January 2020 helicopter crash northwest of Los Angeles.

The gym at the corner of Grand Avenue and Pico Boulevard is just a few blocks from Crypto.com Arena, where Bryant played 20 seasons with the Lakers and won five NBA titles.

The mural was one of many around Los Angeles that became places to mourn and remember the 18-time All Star who retired in 2017. It depicts Bryant and daughter Gianna in their basketball uniforms with angel wings as they emerge from a cloud.

Moran said the mural became a beacon of hope after Bryant's death and during the coronavirus pandemic.

The 'City of Angels' mural depicting Kobe Bryant and daughter Gianna is on the wall of a gym in downtown Los Angeles. Credit: NBCLA

"I'm reaching out to the members of the community, the Lakers, the mayor of LA, Vanessa Bryant, to all of those Lakers die-hards to not leave me alone," said Moran. "I'm standing in the middle. I know I may get in trouble for raising my voice, but I’m going to stand up for what I believe."

Moran said she received an email from her landlord explaining that she has until Sept. 30 to remove the tribute. NBCLA reached out to the property landlord, but did not receive a response late Friday morning.

Moran opened Hardcore Fitness after moving to Los Angeles form Peru.

"I don't know what else can happen, you know," Moran said. "Obviously, it's scary to speak out because it may cost me my business. And as an immigrant who arrived to this country with nothing and starting a new life, it is hard, but I am standing today, strong, and I do want to preserve the mural."

Moran said the landlord plans to use the wall space for advertising.

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