Chicago Tribune

George Lucas Scraps Planned Chicago Museum, Shifts Focus to California

Jun 24, 2016  •  Post A Comment

“Star Wars” creator George Lucas is abandoning plans to build a museum on Chicago’s lakefront that would have showcased his art collection. The Chicago Tribune reports that Lucas will instead try to build the museum in California.

The move ends months of debate and controversy, the paper reports, noting: “The Lucas Museum proposal has been on hold since November 2014, when the group Friends of the Parks filed a federal lawsuit blocking construction.”

In a statement announcing that he’s scrapping the Chicago plan, Lucas said: “No one benefits from continuing their seemingly unending litigation to protect a parking lot. The actions initiated by Friends of Parks and their recent attempts to extract concessions from the city have effectively overridden approvals received from numerous democratically elected bodies of government.”

Friends of Parks did not feel the project belonged in the lakefront area. The organization’s leaders issued a statement saying: “It is unfortunate that the Lucas Museum has made the decision to leave Chicago rather than locate the museum on one of several alternative sites that is not on Chicago’s lakefront. That would have been the true win-win.”

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti seized on the moment to release a statement courting the project for L.A.

“The Lucas Museum of Narrative Art would be perfect for Los Angeles,” the statement from Garcetti said. “Tens of millions of people visit our city every year — and L.A. has unquestioned stature as a world arts capital, thanks to institutions like the Broad, the Getty, MOCA and LACMA. We would welcome the opportunity to be a permanent home for this incredible collection, which would become part of a museum culture that is unrivaled in the United States.”

One Comment

  1. Memo to George Lucas:

    There are no democratically elected bodies of government in the entirety of the state of Illinois, but especially not in Chicago.

    What he thinks is a legitimate government organization is actually an exquisitely complex patronage systems with a massively insolvent pension system attached.

    California is likely to be only slightly less hospitable to Lucas’s legacy-burnishing efforts, but then that’s probably why he was sniffing around Chicago in the first place.

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