Detroit’s giant RoboCop statue is real and it’s spectacular, at 11 feet, 2.5 tons

Detroit’s giant RoboCop statue is real and it’s spectacular, at 11 feet, 2.5 tons

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DETROIT – Detroit’s long-awaited RoboCop statue, which has been 11 years in the making, is finally just about complete minus a few finishing touches. It’s ready to serve and protect, but does not yet have a permanent spot to patrol in the city where the 1987 movie took place.

Standing more than 11 feet tall and weighing a whopping 2 and a half tons, the construction of this bronze statue was lead by Giorgio Gikas of Venus Bronze Works. The company is known for maintaining, restoring and repairing historic statues from Detroit and all over the country.

The idea for the statue happened around 11 years ago after someone on Twitter pointed out that Philadelphia had a Rocky statue and one of RoboCop would be a “great ambassador for Detroit.” The Twitter user tagged then-Mayor Dave Bing, who tweeted back saying there were no plans for a RoboCop statue.

That’s when Brandon Walley, a filmmaker, and Jerry Paffendorf, co-founder and CEO of Loveland Technologies, created a Kickstarter campaign which raised more than $67,000. So, why did it take so long to complete?

“We had to contact MGM who owns the likeness of RoboCop. It became a really long process,” Walley told MLive. “We had to get the exact model made. That model had to be blown up to over a 10-foot mold. That happened in Vancouver, and Idaho. That took years as well. The owner of Venus Bronze Works went through a cancer scare. That was two more years.”

It had been announced the statue would be proudly displayed at the Michigan Science Center in Detroit, but that won’t be happening now, according to a statement from the Science Center.

Due to unprecedented pressures from the coronavirus pandemic, resources must now be entirely focused on our core mission of serving Michigan’s students and families.”

After 11 years, Detroit's RoboCop statue if just about complete, standing 11-feet talk and weighing 2 and a half tons. (Photo by Edward Pevos | MLive)

Moving the statue and constructing its foundation will likely cost in the tens of thousands of dollars, according to Gekas. But once it’s placed in its permanent location, wherever that may be, it should hold up well to the elements.

“The bronze is welded to the stainless steel base and the infrastructure ties the pelvis and legs into metal shafts which come up and go into phalanges through the bottom,” explained Jay Jurma of Venus Bronze Works. “There are also phalanges on the bottom of the disc which will connect to lead pipes so when it’s installed with a crane, it will drop into holes on whatever base it’s on which will be filled with epoxy. That will keep it from moving around as the weather changes and the ground freezes.”

The statue was built to be a friendly neighborhood RoboCop. You won’t see it carrying a gun.

“It was determined not to make the statue with him holding a weapon,” added Jurman. “The idea was that he would be in an inviting and approachable gesture as opposed to being armed and threatening.”

https://www.mlive.com/life/2021/02/detroits-giant-robocop-statue-is-real-and-its-spectacular-at-11-feet-25-tons.html

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