Aaaay! Milwaukee to Cast Fonz in Bronze

Art gallery closes in disgust
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 25, 2008 2:15 PM CST
This is an undated file photo of the cast of the television series,"Happy Days." Visit Milwaukee, a group that promotes the city as a tourism and convention destination, is raising money for a bronze...   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – Milwaukee’s about to get way cooler. Thanks to private donations and teenagers who bought “Bronze the Fonz” T-shirts, the tourist bureau has raised $85,000 to erect a permanent bronze tribute to Arthur “Fonzie” Fonzarelli, the leather-jacketed biker in the Milwaukee-set '70s hit sitcom “Happy Days.” But the the local art community isn't impressed; one gallery is even said to be closing in protest.

That gallery’s owner called the statue a “monstrosity” that cements Wisconsin’s football-and-beer image, the Wisconsin Business Journal reports. Artists managed to grouse enough to get the city to reclassify the statue from “art” to “trinket.” But it’s not a trinket to Henry Winkler. “'What a phenomenal compliment," said the actor who immortalized the Fonz. "I don't take it lightly, that's for sure."