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Competition Rises for Location of George Lucas Museum

Mayor Rahm Emanuel in April gave orders to a dozen civic leaders, telling them to find a place in that city for Lucas' interactive museum and collection

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    NEWSLETTERS

    The Museum Would Feature a Sizable Collection of Cinematic Art

    Looks like Chicago has some competition as a potential location for George Lucas' art museum.

    San Francisco Mayor Edwin Lee said he isn't about to lose a museum to be filled with George Lucas' lifetime art collection and movie memorabilia to another city.

    Lee has given his staff until the end of May to come up with a list of places — both private and public — to present the "Star Wars" creator as possible locations in the city for the museum.

    Filmmaker George Lucas Eyes Chicago for Museum

    [CHI] Filmmaker George Lucas Eyes Chicago for Museum
    Lucas would pay the $300 million price tag for this museum out of his own pocket and would endow another $400 million to keep it running.

    Lee said in a statement that he is well aware that San Francisco is in competition with another city. Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel in April gave orders to a dozen civic leaders, telling them to find a place in that city for Lucas' interactive museum and collection.

    But Lee said this is a one-time opportunity for San Francisco.

    "I will not let go easily of such a significant private investment by one of the world's most prominent filmmakers," Lee said.

    Raised in Modesto, Lucas has said he doesn't have enough wall space at his 6,000-acre Skywalker Ranch in Marin County, and he intends to invest up to $300 million of his money for the Lucas Cultural Arts Museum with another $400 million endowment upon his death.

    Earlier this year the Presidio Trust rejected Lucas' proposal to open the museum on park land at the base of San Francisco's Golden Gate Bridge, which then offered him another location near the home of Lucasfilm's special-effects, game unit and corporate offices. Lucas is considering that offer.

    Yet Chicago is considered a front runner for the display of Lucas' collection in part because he is married to Chicago businesswoman Mellody Hobson.

    He and Hobson in February donated $25 million to the University of Chicago. Hobson is the president of the Chicago firm Ariel Investments. The filmmaker last year donated another $25 million to After School Matters, the charity created by former Chicago first lady Maggie Daley.

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