Vanessa Bryant is reportedly asking for some of the items left behind by thousands of fans who came to honor Kobe, their daughter Gianna, and the seven others who perished in a helicopter crash last Sunday (January 26).
According to the Los Angeles Times, Lee Zeidman, the president of the Staples Center, said they will also take the perishable items and spread them around the complex. He says the plan is to dismantle everything around the arena Sunday after the Super Bowl.
“It will have been a week. We have contractually obligated events that are moving in,” he said. “Vanessa had reached out to us and said, ‘Our family would like the items out there.’ So we’re going to catalog every one of them. By that I mean, t-shirts, letters, basketballs, stuffed animals, toys. We’re going to put those in specially made containers and we’re going to ship them to the family.”
Zeidman says he got the idea of cataloging and cherishing the items from England’s Manchester Arena, which was hit by a terrorist attack in 2017 after an Ariana Grande concert. That venue took “all the flowers and everything and they took them all and they composted everything and they spread them around the city,” according to Zeidman.
“So we’re going to compost all those flowers out there and spread them around the plants in and around L.A. Live and in and around Staples Center,” he said. “So that means that all those fans that took the time to buy the flowers and plants and brought them down there, some of that will still be around the site.
Zeidman continued: “Our goal is to somehow have it cleaned up as we relate to the middle of next week and we’re asking people — we’re going to put signage all around LA Live and Staples Center — if you still feel the need to do something, you can certainly come down here. But we hope that you wouldn’t bring any gift and flowers, but that you donate to the Mamba Foundations that they’ve already set up. Then we try to get back to whatever normalcy is around the campus.”
Kobe, Gianna, along with seven other people, were killed Sunday while taking a helicopter to the Mamba Academy for basketball practice in nearby Thousand Oaks. The aircraft crashed in Calabasas and killed everyone on board.