Detroiters raise funds for RoboCop statue

Feb 10, 2011

Ealier this week, a guy in Massachusetts sent this Twitter message to Detroit Mayor Dave Bing:

"Philadelphia has a statue of Rocky & Robocop would kick Rocky's butt. He's a GREAT ambassador for Detroit."

Mayor Bing's response? Thanks, but no thanks.

"There are not any plans to erect a statue of Robocop. Thank you for the suggestion."

But Detroit artist Jerry Paffendorf and others are running with the idea. Paffendorf says the idea touched a "funny bone," and sparked "the kind of interest and intrigue in Detroit, and an interest in what Robocop means to Detroit."

(Paffendorf has done this kind of crowd-sourced fundraising before. Michigan Radio's Sarah Hulett did a story about his Detroit real estate project, Loveland: For $1, you can own a piece of Detroit: 1 square inch, to be exact.)

They started a Kickstarter project. The goal is to raise $50,000 in 45 days. The money will go towards creating a giant, permanent, metal sculpture of Robocop. As of this blog post, they've raised $2,659 from 81 backers from contributors as far away as the United Kingdom.

Paffendorf thinks folks are donating to the Robocop statue because it’s a nice change of pace from what people normally talk about when they talk about Detroit, what he calls "the darker side of life": 

"Blight, ruin porn, crime, and stuff like that. Robocop fits adds an element that’s fun enough and easy enough to pass around that people can get energized by."

If Paffendorf and Co. can't raise the funds for the statue, there's always this adorable tough-looking Robocop running around town. You can see more photos of the part kid, part machine, all cop creation at sweet-juniper.com.

Think Detroit should have a Robocop statue? AutoBlog.com  is conducting a survey asking that very question. You can cast your vote here.