Long recognized as the birthplace of Superman, Cleveland may at long last get a statue commemorating the creation of the Man of Steel.
According to The Cleveland Plain Dealer, plans are under way to erect a 12-foot burnished-steel statue of Superman near the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum, about five miles from the house where teenagers Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster dreamed up the superhero in the early 1930s.
Sculpted by David Deming, who’s been working on the project for nearly seven years, Superman will be mounted atop a 30- to 35-foot pedestal, with smaller, life-size statues of Siegel, Shuster and Lois Lane model Joanne Siegel looking up at him.
Expected to cost about $1 million, the statue will be financed through private donations made to the new nonprofit Superman Statue LLC established by developer Richard Pace, a founding member of the Siegel and Shuster Society, and others. Deming told the newspaper that once the funding is in place, it’ll take about a year to create the statue and pedestal.
According to Pace and Irving Fine, also a founding member of the Siegel and Shuster Society (and a cousin of Siegel’s), both families support the project; Warner Bros. and DC Comics are aware of the statue plans and have raised no objections. Joanne Siegel was shown photos of the prototype by daughter Laura Siegel before her death in February 2011.
“She was delighted and it brought tears to her eyes that her long-held wish of a statue in Cleveland honoring Superman and his creators was going to become a reality,” Laura told the Plain Dealer. “She was deeply touched and honored that her likeness will be included.”
Superman’s creation is currently commemorated in Cleveland with a historical marker in the Glenville neighborhood where Siegel and Shuster lived, a sign outside of the Siegel house on Kimberly Avenue, a tribute fence surrounding the former home of Shuster, and a permanent exhibit at Cleveland Hopkins International Airport. Ohio also offers a Superman license plate.
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