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Detroit to get RoboCop statue with fan funding

DETROIT (Reuters) - From sci-fi cult film, to Twitter phenomenon to Detroit landmark-in-the-making.

Plans for a statue honoring RoboCop, the half-man, half-machine crimefighter of the 1987 movie, are moving ahead after a group of Detroit artists and entrepreneurs raised more than $50,000 via Facebook and an online fund-raising site.

"It hit a sweet spot. It's a fun and funny idea to build a statue of RoboCop," said Jeff Paffendorf, who helped lead the project inspired by a whimsical suggestion sent to Detroit Mayor Dave Bing via Twitter last week.

Bing tweeted back at the time that there were no plans for a RoboCop statue, an off-hand remark that bounced around the Internet and generated calls for him to reconsider.

"There's violence in 'RoboCop,' but through the film RoboCop tries to do the right thing," Paffendorf said.

Bing's office is still not convinced, but a spokeswoman said the city is studying how it could accept and display a gift RoboCop statue.

"We know there are a lot of people that care deeply about the issue, and we respect that," said Karen Dumas of Bing's office. "But I'm still not sure that RoboCop is the best message for the city of Detroit."

Paffendorf said the RoboCop statue could go somewhere downtown if the city approves, perhaps near the landmark fist statue honoring legendary boxer Joe Louis.

But if Detroit will not allow RoboCop on city-owned land, a nonprofit arts group plans to display the statue, he said.

Paffendorf said a sculptor and a metal artist have been chosen to complete the job.

(Reporting by Bernie Woodall and Kevin Krolicki)

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