Someone tweeted the Mayor of Detroit, Michigan a wacky idea: Erect a statue of RoboCop, arguably the most famous fictional character to be associated specifically with the city. The Mayor, naturally, said no.
Y'know what, though? I think it's actually a brilliant idea. Detroit should totally do this.
Anyone who knows anything about Detroit knows the place is in trouble - the collapse of the U.S. Auto Industry has brutalized that whole area, and it's in serious need of new revenue streams. Lots of economically-shaky regions have successfully rebuilt themselves as tourist destinations, but thus far most attempts at turning nostalgia for the Golden Age of American manufacturing into landmarks have fallen short... y'know what DOES sell, though? Kitchsy, semi-ironic pop-culture relics.
I live a short drive from Salem, MA, a city that relies on tourism for the overwhelming majority of it's revenue. A few years back, TV Land lobbied for and bankrolled the construction and installation of a statue of Samantha from "Bewitched" downtown (on the rather shaky premise that the show had done an episode there once), and it's become a very popular site in a city that lives and dies by it's landmarks. This is the best-known one, but TV Land has actually done this for other icons like Andy Griffith and Ralph Kramden, too.
I bring that up less as precedent and more as a suggestion of how something like this ought to get done: Whoever owns the rights to "RoboCop" (whatever's left of MGM, I believe) isn't really doing anything with them that this point - it wouldn't cost much, in "Hollywood dollars," to buy a piece of property in Detroit and stick a statue on it, and you have to imagine the city would be more amenable to it if it weren't costing THEM anything. It'd be a HUGE publicity-coup for the rights-holders, and a net-positive for the city in terms of press coverage, tourism and image-building.
There's actually some pretty solid precedent for this, too: Remember those monuments of the Ten Commandments that caused so much trouble in the U.S. recently? A LOT of those weren't put there for specifically religious purposes - they were publicity-stunts to promote Cecil B. DeMille's "Ten Commandments" movie in 1956.
Seriously, someone needs to get a letter-writing or facebook/twitter campaign going to both Detroit and the owners of the Robocop character. There's no reason for this NOT to happen.