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George Lucas breaks ground on LA's Museum of Narrative Art

George Lucas breaks ground on LA's Museum of Narrative Art
From CBC - March 15, 2018

Wielding a silver shovel instead of a lightsaber, Star Warscreator George Lucas joined a handful of elected officials Wednesday in breaking ground on a billion-dollar museum dedicated to the art of visual storytelling.

Construction of the Lucas Museum of Narrative Art, a dream of the 73-year-old writer-director for more than a decade, is expected to be completed by the end of 2021.

Trucks rumbled by the museum site near downtown Los Angeles as Lucas, dressed casually in a white- and blue-checkered shirt, jeans and tennis shoes, thanked more than 100 well-wishers. Among them was his collaborator and longtime friend, director Steven Spielberg.

"I think it's important to have a museum that, as I was joking and saying, supports all the orphan arts that nobody else wants to see, but that everybody loves," Lucas said, describing the project.

Popular art is an insight into a society and what they aspire to, what they really want, what they really are.- George Lucas

His museum's mission, he added, will be to explain the myths, legends, stories and portraits of people that shape societies and bring them together as one. The art will range from paintings and digital works to comic strips and, yes, movies like Star Wars.

"To my feeling, popular art is an insight into a society and what they aspire to, what they really want, what they really are," Lucas said before grabbing a shovel and joining several local officials in turning over some dirt.

At times, the groundbreaking resembled a movie premiere minus the red carpet, with television cameras and photographers capturing the moment. Lucas called on Spielberg to join him on the mound of dirt, directing his friend to give a thumbs-up to the cameras.

Spacecraft-inspired, multistory museum

"It's a great location," Spielberg told him as they headed to a private reception.

Lucas pointed out the blocks-long museum site that until recently was a parking lot behind the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum where the 1932 and 1984 Olympics took place.

It will be transformed into a multistory museum resembling Han Solo's Millennium Falcon spacecraft that appears to hover over an area surrounded by 11 acres of green space. The museum itself will contain more than 100,000 square feet of gallery space, underground parking, a restaurant, movie theatres and other amenities. Numerous programs are being planned for children from surrounding schools.

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