George Lucas’ Star Wars museum is no longer welcomed in Chicago. “Chicago’s loss will be another city’s gain,” said Chicago mayor, Rahm Emanuel in response to Lucas’ announcement that his Star Wars-theme museum would not be built in the windy city after all, but instead, the long-planned project will be moved to “somewhere” in California, reports MSN. He admitted that the city was losing a $1.5 billion gift. Lucas also shared his disappointment.
“No one benefits from continuing their seemingly unending litigation to protect a parking lot,” said Lucas in a statement last Friday.
“The actions initiated by Friends of the Parks and their recent attempts to extract concessions from the city have effectively overridden approvals received from numerous democratically elected bodies of government.”
Emanuel had been a supporter of the project when it was approved by Chicago’s City Council in 2014, agreeing that the museum would bring jobs and increased tourism to the city, but his words fell on deaf ears as the Friends of the Parks group has fought the proposed project from the beginning expressing their displeasure of such a project.
‘Star Wars’ creator George Lucas pulls plug on Chicago museum https://t.co/HNWCpzEPXa
— MarketWatch (@MarketWatch) June 24, 2016
As reported earlier by the Inquisitr, the second proposed site for the Star Wars museum would have been built near the Chicago Bear’s football stadium, Soldier Field. Lucas had committed more than $740 million toward its construction which would include taking over the McCormick Place East, a spot that some critics say “has always been a large unwelcome building on the lakefront” and has been known to some as been “the shoreline’s Berlin Wall.” Friends of the Parks feel strongly that an open lakefront is important to the city and that the proposed museum would have been an eyesore.
Weeks ago, George Lucas and his wife Mellody Hobson, said that they were in the process of finding a new city to house the Lucas Museum of Narrative Art. Hobson, a Chicago native, was very interested in placing the museum in her hometown and is disappointed that it will not happen.
“As an African American who has spent my entire life in this city I love, it saddens me that young black and brown children will be denied the chance to benefit from what this museum will offer,” Hobson said in her statement. “As Chair of the Board of After School Matters, which serves 15,000 public high school students in Chicago and has more demand than can ever be met, I have seen firsthand what art can do to spur imagination and creativity, heal the soul and advance society-something so needed right now. This is a city of big shoulders and a metropolis that is second to none. In refusing to accept the extraordinary public benefits of the museum, the Friends of the Parks has proven itself to be no friend of Chicago. We are now seriously pursuing locations outside of Chicago. If the museum is forced to leave, it will be because of the Friends of the Parks and that is no victory for anyone.”
In Friday’s statement, Lucas added, “While Chicago will not be home to the museum, my wife and I will continue to enthusiastically support a wide variety of educational and cultural activities throughout the city.”
Wherever the Lucas Museum of Narrative Art finally ends up, it will feature numerous Star Wars-themed exhibitions including collections of paintings, illustrations, and digital art from the movie franchise.
Los Angeles Mayor, Eric Garcetti, immediately stepped up to the plate saying that “The Lucas Museum of Narrative Art would be perfect for Los Angeles …We would welcome the opportunity to be a permanent home for this incredible collection, which would become part of a museum culture that is unrivaled in the United States.” However, the most recent statement did not specify where in California that the museum would be built.
Meanwhile, construction of Disneyland’s “Star Wars Land” expansion continues on as planned.
How the construction of Star Wars Land looks now. pic.twitter.com/Lbe1EmMYb6
— Emmanuel Elefante (@WoC91Elefante) June 24, 2016
[Photo by Chris Jackson/Getty Images]