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George Lucas abandons plans for Chicago museum, will move to California

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Kevin Winter/Getty Images

Bad news continues for the Lucas Museum. After two years of fighting for permission to build in Chicago, George Lucas said today that he's abandoning those plans and will once again attempt to bring his museum to California.

Chicago's government has been enthusiastic in its support for the Lucas Museum, which is meant to showcase George Lucas' collection of art related to storytelling, particularly with regard to cinema. But construction has been blocked by a lawsuit meant to protect Chicago's lakefronts.

It's been a weird situation. Lucas' plan was to demolish a parking lot and build his museum in its place. But a conservancy group wanted to protect the space, essentially because — even though parking lots are awful — there was a chance that the parking lot could eventually become green space again, whereas there was little chance of the museum ever being torn down.

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel is pissed. "This missed opportunity has not only cost us what will be a world-class cultural institution, it has cost thousands of jobs for Chicago workers, millions of dollars in economic investment and countless educational opportunities for Chicago’s youth," he says in a statement.

Lucas, meanwhile, appears to already be working on finding a home for his museum in California. Recent reports have said that he's once again working with the city of San Francisco, which is where the museum had initially been looking for space as early as 2013.


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