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Filmmaker George Lucas Eyes Chicago for Museum

Director of Star Wars and American Graffiti is giving The Second City a closer look after discussions with leaders in San Francisco fell through

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    NEWSLETTERS

    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. (Published Thursday, Apr 10, 2014)

    Memorabilia from a galaxy far, far away could land in Chicago if filmmaker George Lucas gets his way.

    The director of Star Wars and American Graffiti is giving The Second City a closer look after discussions with leaders in San Francisco fell through.

    Lucas wants to create the Lucas Cultural Arts Museum to display his collection of Norman Rockwell paintings and Star Wars memorabilia.

    Mayor Rahm Emanuel is reportedly aware of the idea and is expected to create a task force of community leaders to identify potential sites for the museum, the Chicago Tribune reported.

    Lucas, 69, already has ties to Chicago. He and his wife, Mellody 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.

    NBC Chicago's sister station in the San Francisco Bay area has reported extensively on the discussions for a Lucas Cultural Arts Museum near The Presidio.

    One exhibit would feature props, costumes and designs from Lucas' films. Another exhibit would be devoted exclusively to digital art. And another would feature pieces from Lucas’s private art collection, which includes modern masterpieces created by the likes of Norman Rockwell, Maxfield Parrish and N.C. Wyeth.

    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.

    The Presidio Trust Board in November, however, asked developers to redo the three proposals offered after deeming the 65-foot tall, 93,000-square foot-large Beaux Arts-style museum "too big" for the space.

    The entire competition for the museum was shot down in early February, the San Francisco Chronicle reported.