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George Lucas Threatening to Move His Museum to Los Angeles

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Rendering by MAD Architects

With the impunity of a man who brought Jar Jar Binks into the world, George Lucas is threatening to build his Lucas Museum of Narrative Art in Los Angeles instead of in Chicago, which he chose last summer after San Francisco's Presidio Trust rejected him and over the pleas of the city of Los Angeles. (Chicago offered Lucas 17 acres just south of Soldier Field in a prime spot on the lakefront; LA offered a spot in Exposition Park, near USC and the California Science Center.) But now Chicago's causing trouble and Lucas tells an LA Times reporter "it's still a possibility that Chicago will be unable to do it."

First Chicagoans flipped out over the Star Warsy designs by Ma Yansong of MAD Architects, then the Chicago Tribune ran an editorial arguing the museum shouldn't be on the lakefront at all, and finally an environmental group called Friends of the Parks sued to stop the project from being built at its planned location. Now Lucas is saying things like "The advantage Los Angeles has is that it's on the USC campus and I don't have to go through all the rigmarole of years and years of trying to get past everything." Lucas is right that he's unlikely to face a lot of opposition from the city of Los Angeles, which loves a flashy project, and especially from the relatively poor neighborhood around USC.

But it's probably just a threat: Lucas says "I have faith in Chicago and [Mayor] Rahm [Emanuel], who is dedicated to making it happen … But he's also coming up for election next month." In other words, his first-name-basis buddy Rahm will make it happen, unless he's somehow feeling accountable to the populace of Chicago.

Lucas's vanity museum will "feature items from Lucas' personal collection" and is supposed to open in Chicago in 2018.
· George Lucas says museum could land in L.A. if Chicago falls through [LAT]
· How the Lucas Museum Design Will Change Chicago's Lakefront [Curbed Chicago]
· The Battle Over the Lucas Museum is Just Beginning [Curbed Chicago]