George Lucas museum gets nod

Filmmaker George Lucas

Iconic filmmaker, George Lucas and wife, businesswoman, Mellody Hobson (seated middle), receive support from L.A. City Council as board members approve Lucas' 1.2 Billion dollar contribution to build the Lucas Museum of Narrative Art in Exposition Park.

Lucas and his wife Mellody Hobson were present at City Hall for Tuesday's vote with the council and L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti. Costing around $1 billion, construction is set to begin sometime early next year.

The museum, which will feature space age architecture befitting the creator of the Star Wars universe, will be built at Exposition Park near University of Southern California. They will feature sets, storyboards, props, and more from classics like Casablanca and The Wizard of Oz, as well as nearly everything imaginable from Star Wars (such as Luke Skywalker's original lightsaber and Vader's original costume).

"We have come here to join the other museums in Los Angeles, to be a partner, to make Los Angeles a museum city, so that the arts, history and all the other things that you could learn in a museum have a real strong presence here, and I think that is very important", Lucas said. "That's where I learned my craft, that's where I basically started my career". (Courtesy MAD Architects) The museum will occupy the site of a current parking lot and will contain a theatre and exhibition spaces along its ground floors.

Lucas initially wanted the museum built in Chicago. They will donate over 20,000 pieces of art and film memorabilia, including museum president Don Bacigalupi. "We think you will see a bit of yourself in the collection - even in stories from long ago or depictions of worlds in the distant future".

Despite LA being the billionaire's third choice after coming up short in both Chicago and San Francisco, Lucas touched on his deep ties to the area that he forged during his years studying film at USC. "As a museum uniquely focused on narrative art, we look forward to becoming part of a dynamic museum community, surrounded by more than 100 elementary and high schools, one of the country's leading universities as well as three other world-class museums". I couldn't be happier that they did.

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