International Institute for Sport History
IISOH
Library and Museum


ROCKY #3
ACQUISITION




ROCKY #3 Monumental Bronze statue by A. Thomas Schomberg

An Original Bronze Statue
#3 of 3


The IISOH is happy to announce the agreement to purchase the famous statue of ROCKY #3 for the museum collection. Cast by artist A. Thomas Schomberg the statue was made famous by Sylvester Stallone's movie ROCKY III. The IISOH plans to display this famous piece in front of a Museum to be constructed in central Pennsylvania.




ROCKY #1 Monumental Bronze statue by A. Thomas Schomberg in Philadelphia


There were three (3) copies of the ROCKY statue made by Schomberg. The first statue, identified as ROCKY #1, was purchased by Sylvester Stallone for use in his movie ROCKY III. Stallone then donated the statue to the city of Philadelphia in 1982. As the statue is owned by the city it can never be given away nor sold without a public referendum - it is "public property" owned by the citizens of Philadelphia. It is doubtful that there could ever be circumstances that would lead to its sale.

ROCKY #2 was sold to Robert Breitbard and was exhibited inside the San Diego (California) Sports Hall of Champions until 2017. Breitbard died in 2010 and the museum sold ROCKY #2 in November 2017 to a private buyer. In late December the buyer identified himself - it was Sylvester Stallone! The IISOH Museum is buying ROCKY #3, the last of the three statues.

The IISOH seeks YOUR support to acquire this important artwork!


Please help us with a single donation of just $25.00 -
then ask your friends to help.
We want to raise $3.5 million in this fundraising campaign.
We need 140,000 donors to reach this goal.


We are seeking widespread support from the sporting public, the fans of Rocky movies, boxing fans, athletes and coaches. We ask you for a once-in-a-lifetime donation of just $25.00 and in return we will give you a lifetime acknowledgement for your generosity. Your acknowledgement will be online at our website and inside the museum on a dedicated "ROCKY" wall.

This statue will be one of the highlights of the IISOH collection.
Also planned for the Museum are many replicas of ancient Greek and Roman athletic statuary. This campaign will also fund the acquisition of plaster and/or resin casts from molds of the original Greek and Roman statuary. The famous "Seated Boxer" illustrated below is in the collection of the National Museum of Rome, one of the few existing original bronze statues that have survived to this day. We must pay for copies to be made and then shipped to central Pennsylvania.



The BOXING COLLECTION & ENDOWMENT


The ROCKY #3 statue is formally an acquisition for the BOXING COLLECTION of the IISOH Museum. We plan to display the statue outdoors in front of the IISOH museum when it has been built. Then we invite you to visit and enjoy the entire museum and sports complex.

A magnanimous donation of at least one million Dollars ($1,000,000) can be acknowledged with a lifetime LEGACY by naming the BOXING ENDOWMENT with the final approval of the Board of Directors.

We need massive public support - we ask for a single donation - twenty-five Dollars ($25.00). THEN we ask that you invite two friends to make a similar donation.

Spread the word.
Become part of the legacy.



Donors can also make larger donations if they so desire!
Larger donations will receive recognition in a variety of additional ways. For example, a donation of $250.00 will be acknowledged online AND with an engraved brick that will be on the walkways leading to the statue. A $500.00 donation will be acknowledged with an engraved brick PLUS a brass or bronze plaque on the "ROCKY" wall" inside the museum. Larger donations will be acknowledged with larger brass or bronze plaques to be determined by the Board of Directors.

Be part of the legacy!
Bring ROCKY #3 back to Pennsylvania.


DONATE ONLINE NOW


When you click here you will be connected
to to our secure website page at www.iisoh.org -
we are using STRIPE for credit card processing





This is a Naming Opportunity!!

This is an opportunity to name the BOXING ENDOWMENT.
With a generous donation of one million Dollars a donor can name the BOXING ENDOWMENT in perpetuity. The endowment would be named by the benefactor with the approval of the IISOH Board of Directors.

For more details about the entire endowment program,
please click here

Donations are tax deductible
Federal Tax ID# 41-2041155


The Story Behind the ROCKY Statue



There are some well-written articles online that describe the history of the ROCKY statue. Some articles deal with the history of the statue, some about the movies, some about the controversy that followed the placement of the original ROCKY statue in Philadelphia. None have all the facts 100 percent correct, but that is the nature of history. Over time information, whether oral or written, can be misunderstood or changed in some way. On this page we will link you to some excellent websites with these stories. On our site we will focus entirely on the role that Harvey Abrams (author of this article) and the IISOH has played in the ROCKY statue saga. This will be the first time that our story has been published, so it will add something to the existing literature.

The origins of the IISOH will be shared elsewhere on this site soon, so a few years will be skipped. The issue of ROCKY came about during the planning of the Museum statuary collection. At first Abrams was researching the statuary of ancient Greece and Rome to create an acquisitions list for the Museum. Such famous statuary as the Discus Thrower (Discobolos/Discobolus), the Wrestlers (Pankratiasts), and the Boxer were carefully studied. Plans were made to acquire exact replicas since originals were not available on the marketplace. Most ancient Greek statuary was made in bronze and most disappeared in antiquity. But the Romans loved this artwork and many artists made marble copies. Today these marbles are in different museums around the world. For example the Discus Thrower has several copies that were made and these are found in London (British Museum) and Rome (Vatican Museums and the National Museum of Rome).

The first IISOH agreement was made with the British Museum in London where the "Townley" Discus Thrower is located. In this fascinating exchange it was learned that the mold for the statue had disappeared. The problem was due to the fact that no copies had been made in over 80 years so nobody at the museum knew where the molds had been stored. The molds of the original marble would be needed to make plaster copies. Higher quality resin statues could also be made. The plaster versions were commonly created in the late 19th and early 20th centuries for many American universities. At that time classical studies were an important part of a university education. Many collections of statue copies were developed and today very few of these still exist. During this research period someone from Syracuse University contacted the IISOH to offer their copies of which very few remained. All were damaged with missing limbs or graffiti scratched into the plaster. The IISOH declined.

As the research continued the search for modern statuary began. Many bronze statues exist within the USA of baseball or football stars. But the statue in Philadelphia of ROCKY drew our attention foremost. Research began and inquiries were made to the Philadelphia city government to seek permission to make a mold of the statue so the IISOH could have a copy. Within days of these inquiries Abrams received a telephone call from Cynthia Schomberg, wife of the artist. "Why do you want to make a mold of the statue?" was the question asked. When told that we wanted a copy for our museum...well...I was shocked with what I learned next. Actually - excited and thrilled would be more accurate. I learned that two more copies were available, that the molds were in storage, but not yet cast. That night an agreement was made for the IISOH to have first rights for both statues - ROCKY #2 and ROCKY #3.

It was then agreed that the IISOH could use one of the statues as a fundraiser. By selling one statue for a higher amount then the IISOH could purchase both statues, put money into a BOXING ENDOWMENT and keep one statue while giving the second to the buyer. Fundraising began in 2003 and continued for two years. The statue was originally listed on ebay for a price of five million Dollars. The listing was repeated a number of times and drew much attention worldwide in the media. However no bids were made and eventually the price was lowered to three million Dollars. At this point there was some interest expressed with one potential buyer who planned to buy the statue for their mansion outside the USA. These negotiations never materialized beyond a few conversations. In 2005 we lowered the bidding price to one million Dollars in expectations of starting a bidding war, but this also ended one night with a single bid on ebay for the one million Dollars minimum.

At first Abrams was served the bill from ebay, which was sticker shock, to say the least. As we tried to collect from the buyer it was learned that the bidder was a college student from Canada. He used his roommate's ebay account to place the bid as a joke. The legal ramifications of wire fraud were then raised, criminal prosecution was considered, but in the end no action was taken when ebay agreed to cancel all the fees that were involved. The IISOH decided not to pursue any criminal or civil charges because it would serve no good purpose for any party. That was the final effort to sell the statue as a fundraiser.




Rocky #2, Breitbard Collection, San Diego Hall of Champions,
deaccessioned and sold at auction November 14, 2017 to a private buyer


The Schombergs later sold the statue (ROCKY #2) to Robert Breitbard of San Diego, California. He was a major factor in sports development in San Diego when he brought professional basketball to the city with the expansion team, San Diego Rockets in 1967-68 but sold them in 1971. He privately built the San Diego Sports Arena and he owned the minor league hockey team, San Diego Gulls. He created a hall of fame that became the largest multi-sport museum in the United States known as the San Diego Hall of Champions. He died in May, 2010. The Hall of Fame had lower attendance after his death and much higher bills so it closed in the summer of 2017. Many items in the collection were sold at auctions in November 2017 - just as this campaign was being planned. This is how ROCKY #2 ended up in California and is now in private hands. On December 25 Sylvester Stallone announced via his Instagram account that he was the buyer of ROCKY #2. He posted a photograph of himself and friend, Arnold Schwartzenegger standing in front of the statue at his home. If you look on the internet you can find a few more photos as well as a video of the statue being delivered by truck.

ROCKY #3 is an important piece of art and the IISOH is very determined to have this standing in front of our museum. As we embark on a major campaign for this acquisition through the BOXING ENDOWMENT, we have several other campaigns that run concurrently to establish the OPERATIONS ENDOWMENT and funding for the SPORT IN ART POSTER SERIES. We hope that your passion for sport, boxing, ROCKY and all that it entails will enable you to support the IISOH in 2018 and in future years.

Links to some excellent websites on this subject:

  1. Sylvester Stallone's Instagram Account with photo of Rocky #2

  2. Sylvester Stallone finally buys his own 'Rocky' statue; by Nick Vadala, Staff Writer, Philly.com, December 27, 2017 — 12:07 PM EST

  3. [Philadelphia] Association for Public Art; ROCKY (1980)

  4. Jack Doyle, “The Rocky Statue: 1980-2009,” PopHistoryDig.com, July 20, 2009

  5. History of the Bronze Rocky Statue, May 20, 2015 at the website TOTAL ROCKY

  6. San Diego Hall of Fame website auction announcement

  7. 'Rocky' statue proves a winner in S.D. Hall of Champions' auction

  8. Rocky Balboa - San Diego, CA - Famous Fictional Figures on Waymarking.com

  9. Robert Breitbard was San Diego’s sports MVP.

  10. Rocky statue on eBay / David Pescovitz / 10:47 am Sun May 29, 2005

  11. Rocky Statue Up For Bid, Craig Zablo, Stallonezone.com



LARGER DONATIONS:


Cash donations IN ANY AMOUNT are welcome!

OTHER DONATION CATEGORIES:

___ IN MEMORY OF (lifetime memorial) $25.00

___ IN MEMORY OF (a full page link) $250.00

___ IN HONOR OF (lifetime honorarium) $25.00

___ IN HONOR OF (a full page link) $250.00

___ SUPPORTING Member.... $50

___ BRONZE Member.... $100

___ SILVER Member.... $250

___ GOLD Member.... $500

___ LIFETIME Member.... $1,000
Alternative Donation Categories:

___ Contributor.... $5,000

___ Friend.... $10,000

___ Donor.... $25,000

___ Sponsor.... $50,000

___ Patron.... $100,000

___ Benefactor.... $250,000

___ Naming Opportunities.... $300,000 and up

___ Endowments.... $1,000,000 and up

  1. Download and print our CHARTER MEMBERSHIP brochure (pdf)
    Make several copies and share them with your friends.

  2. Go to this page for details about the endowment program

  3. To see the vast number of subject areas that can be endowed visit this page



The IISOH is a Pennsylvania Non-profit,
Educational, Literary and Research corporation
under section 501(c)3 of the Internal Revenue Code.

Donations are tax deductible
Federal Tax ID# 41-2041155



Links to a few other IISOH pages:







Contact:
Mr. Harvey Abrams, President
International Institute for Sport History
(IISOH)
Library & Museum

PO Box 175
State College, PA, USA 16804

email to:
HAbrams@iisoh.org


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This page was created November 25, 2017
This page was updated November 27, 2017
This page was updated January 3, 2018
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