SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — George Lucas is no stranger to epic struggles on the big screen, but he didn’t expect one off-camera when it came to his art collection.
For nearly a decade, the filmmaker has tried to build a museum to house an extensive personal collection that includes 40,000 paintings, illustrations and film-related items. But legal entanglements and other complications have thwarted his efforts.
After several false starts, Lucas and his art team say they will decide later this month whether to put the museum in San Francisco or Los Angeles, a strategy that has stirred a California rivalry.
The prize is big, and both cities want it badly.
“This is the largest civic gift in American history,” LA Mayor Eric Garcetti told The Associated Press. “I think Los Angeles is the natural home for it” — a notion that San Francisco officials enthusiastically contest.
The Lucas Museum of Narrative Art, as it will be called, promises hundreds of jobs and a high-profile attraction — and it’s essentially free.
The “Star Wars” creator is financing the project himself. He plans to spend more than $1 billion to build the museum, endow it and provide a trove of initial artworks valued at over $400 million. Together with Chinese architect Ma Yansong, Lucas has proposed a sleek, futuristic design looks like a cross between the Guggenheim and a galactic starfighter.
The museum’s bold design and concept make clear that the 72-year-old filmmaker sees it as part of his legacy, and he is increasingly impatient…
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