Star Wars’ creator to build 1 bn-dollar museum in Los Angeles

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Los Angeles will be the site of a new museum housing the collection of “Star Wars” creator George Lucas, the museum’s board of directors announced Tuesday.

The Lucas Museum of Narrative Art will showcase Lucas’ personal collection of art and film memorabilia, an eclectic mix ranging from paintings by Edgar Degas and Pierre-Auguste Renoir to original cartoon strips by Peanuts creator Charles Schultz.

Exhibits will include animation cels from classic Disney films and the original model for the Star Wars’ films’ Millennium Falcon spaceship, according to the museum website.

Lucas has promised about 1 billion dollars in funding for the museum including art, building costs and an endowment of at least 400 million dollars, the Los Angeles Times reported.

The Atlantic magazine in 2014 called the museum Lucas’ “best idea since Star Wars” for its focus on storytelling as a powerful force in American art. Critics have painted it as a “vanity project” intended to buy a place for Lucas’ films in American art history.

Backers have been in negotiations for years to find a home for the museum. A plan to build it in Chicago was blocked in June by environmental groups opposed to development at its planned site.

Lucas, 71, is one of the United States’ most successful filmmakers, the creator of the “Star Wars” science fiction franchise, the “Indiana Jones” adventure films and the 1973 classic “American Graffiti.”

dpa