Kobe Bryant death: More than 1,300 basketballs, 25,000 candles removed from public's memorial outside Staples Center

DOWNTOWN LOS ANGELES -- A sprawling makeshift memorial to Lakers susperstar Kobe Bryant and the eight other victims of the Calabasas helicopter crash continued to be dismantled and removed from a courtyard outside Staples Center on Tuesday.

On Monday, crews collected more than 1,300 basketballs, 5,000 signs, letters and flags, over 500 stuffed animals, more than 350 pairs of shoes, countless bouquets of flowers and at least 25,000 candles. A fence was erected around the site to keep the cleanup out of public view.

The items will be stored at the request of the Bryant family. The flowers will be composted and spread around plants near the arena.

Kobe honored by mariachis with emotional rendition of 'Amor Eterno' outside Staples Center
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Among the hundreds of people who gathered at a makeshift near Staples Center were mariachi musicians from throughout Los Angeles.


Fans spontaneously began creating the memorial in a plaza at L.A. Live as word surfaced that Bryant, his daughter Gianna and seven other people were killed Jan. 26 in a helicopter crash. The memorial kept growing for a week. Personal messages were written on many of the items.

Fans were urged to donate to the Bryant foundation rather than bring more gifts and flowers.
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