Detroit finally finished their giant RoboCop statue after 10 years of work. The Metro Times caught up with Brandon Walley and Jerry Paffendorf to talk about the project they began in 2011. The story goes that some Detroit resident told the city’s mayor, Dave Bing, that they needed a RoboCop statue. From there, the duo crowdfunded an effort to build the monument and raised $17,000 in just three days. Fred Barton Productions helped with a design of the character and then the delays hit. It turns out a giant metal statue is wildly expensive, but the team kept plugging away. Giorgio Gikas stepped in to help deliver the final product. There were structural integrity issues, along with the artist having to beat cancer which held things up for years.
But, Gikas and the team turned the corner. The statue was completed, but not without heavy financial losses. Also of note, the proposed site for this monument has changed a lot in a decade and now they have to find RoboCop a new home. The Michigan Science Center was supposed to be the site of the shining sci-fi giant. But, that’s not going to happen now. The organization put up a statement explaining their decision to move in a different direction.
Detroit’s crowdfunded RoboCop statue is finally complete(Venus Bronze Works) 📷 Jay Jurma pic.twitter.com/iTL5MRiTL9— RΛMIN NΛSIBOV (@RaminNasibov) February 24, 2021
"We are thankful to the Imagination Station team and their partners for including the Michigan Science Center in the RoboCop statue journey," the Michigan Science Center explained. "Working with Imagination Station in 2018, MiSci, a private non-profit museum that receives no city, state or federal operating funding, had planned to install the 11-foot-tall bronze sculpture adjacent to the Center in conjunction with improvements to our grounds. But, given the pandemic's unprecedented pressures, MiSci's resources must now be entirely focused on our core mission of serving Michigan's students and families. The creation of the bronze work, which combines centuries-old metalworking techniques with 21st-century technology, remains an amazing STEM story. As Michigan's STEM hub, MiSci hopes to be able to support Imagination Station in the search for a new and appropriate home for this iconic work."
For now, they have to wait. But, the people who helped crowdfund the effort and those that care around the city are trying to pinpoint a new home for the character. So, at long last, the statue’s saga can come to a close.
Would you love something like this in your city? Let us know in the comments!