If you have never heard of the Detroit Robocop statue, you must have been absent for the past 10 years. This ambitious project that has started in 2011 is about to finally be finished this year. The statue creators had to face numerous obstacles – from copyright issues to manufacturing and fundraising complications.
According to the latest information, casting – the most resourceful stage of the project, is almost done. All that is left – applying the patina and welding the large sections together.
RoboCop – the superhuman cyborg law enforcer from the Motor City in the film franchise, has been an unofficial mascot of Detroit for decades. In 2011 Twitter users have addressed the major of Detroit with the natural initiative to put a statue of their superhero in the city. One more reason to put the statue of a beloved hero that would raise the citizens` spirit is the ongoing serious economic recession in the region. Unemployment became epidemical in the region. So opening a Kickstarter fundraising to finally set their hero in bronze in the heart of Detroit city, Brandon Walley and Jerry Paffendorf were aiming for quite noble social goals.
But one thing is to come up with a brilliant idea and another – to make a dream come true. Building the RoboCop statue appeared to be much more challenging than anyone could;y imagine. In 2013 Venus Bronze Works in Detroit was supposed to perform casting and manufacturing in bronze. In 2014, the company claimed that the statue would be unveiled later that year, and in December 2014, the deadline was pushed for the following spring. Only in 2018, the company managed to give a more or less clear quote on when the statue parts will be ready, but they were also inaccurate, and the work took a couple more years.
Another serious issue that the fundraisers had to face was, of course, Copywrite. Apparently Even starting the fundraising campaign was a far-fetched plan before sorting out legal peculiarities.
So where the giant RoboCop will stand after it is completely finished? The placing was determined outside the Michigan Science Center. And who would think that even the placement will become an issue for the Detroit RoboCop? Michigan Science center went through some major renovation since the placement of the statue was sealed. More importantly, the management of the institution was entirely changed. The new leader of the Michigan Science center claimed that he is not ready to discuss any details about the statue placement until it is actually finished.
The 11 feet statue is supposed to weight more than half a ton. The patina on the statue will be gray. Although the original suits look like the original patina which naturally appears on bronze. So the statue itself might look much greener than it was in the film.
So the creative process seemed to be endless. But taking a different perspective, those were pretty significant 10 years for the city itself. While the project was on Detroit has entered and exited bankruptcy, developed, and became a better place to live and work in. At the same time, a new RovoCob movie was released. An all those unimaginably significant things happened while enthusiasts and fundraisers continued to believe in their dream.
Being the unofficial mascot of Detroit for many years, RoboCop might become as important for the citizens as it has never been before. Facing harsh consequences of the Pandemic of COVID-19, citizens of Detroit will definitely feel the support of their own personal superhero from the Motor City.