The board of the Lucas Museum of Narrative Art has announced that the museum will be built in Los Angeles's Exposition Park.
Star Wars creator George Lucas's personal collection of fine and popular art, including ephemera related to the Star Wars franchise, will be included in a futuristic-looking museum, the Los Angeles Times reports. In the past, Lucas has said he would fund the $1 billion project, a price tag that includes construction costs, the value of the art to be donated, and a $400 million endowment.
For years, Lucas, a signatory to the Giving Pledge, has tried to secure a suitable site for his collection, which comprises ten thousand paintings and illustrations, including works by Norman Rockwell, N.C. Wyeth, and R. Crumb, as well as Hollywood memorabilia from films such as Star Wars and The Ten Commandments. Negotiations to build the museum the grounds of the Presidio Trust in San Francisco and along the waterfront in his wife's hometown of Chicago came to naught, however. Museum officials acknowledged that the project still faces the type of community scrutiny that scuttled those efforts but expressed optimism that the project will become a reality.
Los Angeles mayor Eric Garcetti said that having the museum in Exposition Park, which already is home to the California Science Center, the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County, and the California African American Museum, could transform it into the Central Park of Los Angeles. Garcetti added that Lucas has expressed interest in helping to shape a master plan for the swiftly evolving area. Groundbreaking for the new museum which will include underground parking, is scheduled to happen before year's end, with completion sometime in 2021.
"I always thought Los Angeles was the natural place to spread the vision of George Lucas and Mellody Hobson, to make art and creativity accessible and inspirational to the next generation," said Garcetti, referring to the filmmaker and his wife. "It's a natural place to have this museum in the creative capital of the world and in the geographic center of the city. It’s a banner day for L.A."