Detroit Mayor Dave Bing's plans for a New Detroit do not include a statue of RoboCop, but that isn't stopping fans of the 1987 film from trying to erect an ode to the fictional cyborg crime fighter.
Bing and his communications team have been fielding suggestions for the city's future on Twitter, and Monday they matter-of-factly shot down a humorous proposal to build a RoboCop statue. While there's a number of reasons why the statue may be a bad idea, Bing's rejection prompted mass outcry, much of it tongue-in-cheek, on social networking sites across the nation.
Facebook groups popped up, Reddit had a field day and local enthusiasts hatched a plan: Artist Jerry Paffendorf, best known for his Loveland micro-real estate venture, has started raising money for a statue along with John Leonard, Brandon Walley and Mary Lorene Carter.
As he's done with other successful "FUNdraising" efforts, Paffendorf has set up a Kickstarter page with hopes of raising $50,000 in the next 45 days. "We live in a new world, and sometimes it takes funny things to show us all that," reads the pitch, describing the project genesis before explaining the cost.
Kickstarter.com: None of us have ever made a giant solid metal permanent sculpture before. It turns out to be a pretty expensive process (who would have thought?), but not too much for the world to fund. After talking to numerous sculptors and metal workers, the current game plan is this: We can take a relatively small figure of RoboCop (conceivably even an action figure), have it 3D scanned by lasers (cool!) and scale its form to create a light-weight model of any size we'd like, which can then be used to pour and cast liquid metal.
If completed, the RoboCop statue would become part of the Imagination Station, a blighted Roosevelt Park home turned public art project co-founded by Paffendorf and Carter.
All this, from a random Tweet whose author admits it was a joke.
"That's the magic of the social network," Paffendorf told the Detroit Free Press. "With the amount of energy coming from the Internet, I don't think we'll have problems raising money."
So congratulations, Internet. You may just get your wish. Now about Axel Foley...
By Jonathan Oosting
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