A Team of Artists Just Made Something Amazing to Lift Detroit's Spirits

"Dead or alive, you're coming with me," RoboCop repeatedly exclaims in the 1987 classic RoboCop. If it sounds campy, that's because it is. But it's also an inspiring display of determination from the resilient hero. The movie was set in a future dystopian Detroit that was overrun with crime and in desperate need of a hero. Coincidentally, that's not different from modern-day Detroit. And some locals actually believe that RoboCop is the hero they need.


Image Credit: Kickstarter.

After starting a successful Kickstarter in 2011 that raised over $60,000, a group of artists and sculptors started the "Detroit Needs Robocop" campaign to build a 10-foot tall bronze RoboCop statue to — hopefully — be placed in downtown Detroit. The city's mayor Dave Bing does not support the statue, but the builders at Venus Bronze Works aren't slowing down. They plan to have a location secured by the spring and the statue erected this fall. 

"The most important part is now," said Giorgio Gikas of Venus Bronze Works. The team is currently constructing the foam molds that will be used to cast the bronze statue. 


Image Credit: Kickstarter

It's kind of a crazy situation. The city is bankrupt and scrambling to save itself by any means necessary — including selling its art. But if all the art's gone, what will Motor City residents look at? Sure, maybe a RoboCop statue is a bit silly, but Philadelphia has a Rocky statue. Maybe it isn't so different.

To be sure, a 10-foot high bronze RoboCop wouldn't be able to replace the loss of Detroit's incredible art collection, but it stands a sign of something much more powerful: Detroit residents are taking it upon themselves to lift their city's spirits. Detroit is scrambling for answers, and denying a group of gung-ho Detroiters the opportunity to celebrate their city and its (fictional) history would be a mistake. Detroit needs hope — wherever it comes from. 


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Matt Essert

Matt is the news director at Mic, covering breaking news. He is based in New York and can be reached at matt@mic.com.

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