Los Angeles may not have destroyed the Death Star or rescued Princess Leia. But the city does have something to celebrate: It is now the future home for George Lucas’ Museum of Narrative Art.
Lucas himself is funding the museum at a reported cost of $1 billion, and is expected to include a fine-dining restaurant, cinematic theaters, various lecture halls, digital classrooms, a 4,200-square-foot library, and production-quality editing classrooms.
The Star Wars creator originally had planned to open the museum in Chicago after spending four years trying to have it built in San Francisco. Lucas hadn’t given up on the northern California city, so it was up to Los Angeles city officials to lure the filmmaker there, according to KABC-Channel 7.
Los Angeles mayor Eric Garcetti celebrated the decision with a written statement.
“Art exists to inspire, to move, to educate, and to excite. Thanks to George Lucas and Mellody Hobson, millions of Angelenos and visitors will enjoy an extraordinary collection anchored in storytelling – an art that carries so much meaning in the history and legacy of Los Angeles.”
Hobson is the president of the Chicago investment firm Ariel Investments, and also is the board of directors chairwoman for DreamWorks Animation.
Lucas says the museum’s construction would add 1,500 temporary jobs and 350 permanent jobs to the city. The museum itself won’t draw distinctions between “high art” and “popular art,” meaning visitors can find all kinds of different art – whether it’s from a lesser-known painter, or something created for an animated movie.
The museum is planned for L.A.’s Exposition Park across from the Natural History Museum. The area already is known for its museums and other cultural attractions, all set on 160 acres located along Interstate 110, just south of downtown Los Angeles.
Lucas expects to open the museum in 2020.
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