George Lucas granted permission to build billion-dollar museum in LA

George Lucas granted permission to build billion-dollar museum in LA
George Lucas’ billion-dollar Museum of Narrative Art has been given the go-ahead by the Los Angeles City Council, who approved construction at Exposition Park on the city’s south side. The museum is expected to open some time in 2021.

“With unanimous support from our City Council, the Lucas Museum is officially coming home to L.A.! Thank you, George Lucas & Mellody Hobson!” Los Angeles mayor Eric Garcetti tweeted following the vote, posing alongside Star Wars and Indiana Jones creator George Lucas.

Lucas addressed the council before they voted unanimously in favor of the museum on Tuesday, reported the Los Angeles Times.

"For a very brief time I actually grew up here," he said, recalling his time at the University of Southern California. "That's where I learned movies. That's where I learned my craft. Basically where I started my career was in school here."

Both Los Angeles and San Francisco were bidding for the museum which, according to Lucasfilm’s website, will tell stories through imagery across “every culture and time in human history.”

Chicago had originally been a frontrunner to house the museum before receiving negative reaction from the public, according to the Chicago Tribune.

Lucas himself will reportedly cover the $1 billion cost of the project, along with a $400 million endowment.

“It is the largest private gift in our city, in our state or in our nation's history,” Councilman Curren D. Price Jr., whose district includes Exposition Park, told the LA Times.

Critical response to the planned museum has been mixed. Michael Canva from the Washington Post praised the museum, claiming it would “help show the world why narrative art is a universal language.”

Christopher Knight from the LA Times dismissed the museum, claiming the “garbled story it tells is about one wildly successful mass-culture filmmaker whose deep desire is to be publicly recognized as an artist.”

“We'll have 'Indiana Jones,' we'll have 'Lord of the Rings.' We're going to have a lot of movies, not just my movies,” Lucas said in 2014 when attempting to lure Chicago to host the museum.

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Other work to be displayed include paintings from Norman Rockwell, Edgar Degas and Winslow Homer.