Governments' Lighter Side

Part man. Part machine. All crowdsourced.

Well, there’s finally a bit of good news coming out of Detroit. Preparations are underway for a giant statue of “RoboCop,” hero of the iconic '80s sci-fi flick, to be erected in Motor City.


The whole thing started as kind of a joke. Back in 2011, a Twitter user publically messaged Detroit Mayor Dave Bing, demanding a statue of officer Alex J. Murphy ('RoboCop' for the layman) be built in the film’s honor, according to The Guardian.

Set in a dystopian future Detroit, “RoboCop” tells the story of a terminally wounded cop who returns to the force after being outfitted with cyborg armor. Directed by Paul Verhoeven, "RoboCop" has become a cult classic.

City officials weren’t too excited about the idea, according to The Guardian. “There are not any plans to erect a statue to RoboCop,” Bing replied via Twitter, “Thank you for the suggestion.”

But the idea, like the shot-up Officer Alex J. Murphy, wasn’t down for the count. Detroit resident John Leonard started a Facebook group called “Build a statue of RoboCop in Detroit,” according to The Guardian. Interest from that group sparked the launch of a Kickstarter campaign, which helped turn the idea into a reality.

The crowdsourced fundraising project, bolstered by internet support, raised $67,436 in just six days, according to the Hollywood Reporter.

Venus Bronze Works, located in Detroit, has been charged with crafting the 10-foot-tall replica. “This isn’t ours,” project manager Brandon Walley told USA Today. “This was created by over 2,700 people around the world.”

“This is larger than even my wildest imagination,” Leonard added.

The statue will be erected on Wayne State University’s TechTown campus, The Guardian reports. It will be unveiled in 2014.

“We think this it’s a good metaphor for RoboCop and the rebirth of Detroit,” Walley told CBS Detroit back in 2011.  

Peter Weller, the actor that played RoboCop back in ’87, agrees. In a video produced by, Weller lambasts Bing for calling the project “silly,” and argues that "RoboCop," with his indomitable spirit and unflinching self-sacrifice, is a perfect personification of Detroit. 


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What's Governments' Lighter Side?

It is an irreverent take on local and state government news.


Derek Prall

Derek Prall is a professional journalist who has held numerous positions with a variety of print and online publications including The Public Manager magazine and the New Jersey Herald. He is a 2008...
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