George Lucas, the famed creator of "Star Wars", choose Los Angeles over San Francisco to house his extensive collection of art and film memorabilia. Museum of Narrative Art will be built around the area of the Exposition Park.
According to Variety, Lucas chose the site over a competing location on Treasure Island, in the middle of San Francisco Bay. Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti said that Lucas' decision is a turning point for the city and that the 275,000-square-foot museum will be a "new jewel." The Museum of Narrative Art is expected to bring "unrivaled opportunities to be immersed in stories told on canvas and celluloid," Garcetti said.
Lucas spent years to build his museum. He had set his plan in San Francisco, but faced community opposition from the city's Presidio Trust. He then aimed for Chicago, but encountered resistance there as well.
Latest proposals of the museum feature designs from Chinese architect Ma Yansong. Daily Mail reported that Lucas will finance the museum by himself. It will be the home to personal collection costing about $400 million, including 40,000 paintings - some by Norman Rockwell, illustrations and film-related items. Aside from "Star Wars", storyboards and costumes from "The Wizard of Oz," "Casablanca," and "The Ten Commandments" will also be displayed.
If everything goes well, ground breaking is said to be this fall, and the museum will open by 2020. The Museum of Narrative Art is expected to bring in at least 1,500 jobs to the city. The creation of the museum will not only benefit the city's tourism but will also greatly help students. Selma Holo, professor of art history and director of the USC Fisher Museum of Art, said that local college students will have an additional place to do internships, work study and learn to be curators.