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George Lucas breaks ground on new LA museum

March 15, 2018

"Star Wars" creator George Lucas has broken ground on his new museum dedicated to visual storytelling. The billion-dollar project will include onsite movie theaters as well as paintings from Degas and Renoir.

USA Los Angeles Lucas Museum of Narrative Art
Image: picture-alliance/AP Photo/D. Dovarganes

Filmmaker George Lucas broke ground on the site of his new Lucas Museum of Narrative Art in Los Angeles, California on Wednesday.

The 73-year-old director and producer, known for Hollywood franchise hits like "Star Wars" and "Indiana Jones," said he wanted to create a museum to honor visual storytelling and that it will embrace a diverse range of art forms.

"I believe in all kinds of art. And I believe all kinds of art have a right to exist. I think it's important to have a museum that I used to jokingly say, supports all the orphan arts that nobody else wants to see, but everybody loves. So that's my dream for this," Lucas said at Wednesday's ceremony.

He was joined by his wife Mellody Hobson, LA Mayor Eric Garcetti and directors Steven Spielberg and Francis Ford Coppola.

Read moreStar Wars actor Mark Hamill immortalized on Walk of Fame

George Lucas breaks ground on his new museum alongside wife Mellody Hobson
Lucas was joined by his wife Mellody Hobson and fellow directors Francis Ford Coppola and Steven SpielbergImage: picture-alliance/AP/D. Dovarganes

Movies, Degas and lightsabers

The futuristic-looking, five-story museum was designed by Chinese architect Ma Yansong and should be completed by 2021. The Associated Press reported that the building is supposed to resemble the iconic Millennium Falcon spaceship used in the "Star Wars" franchise.

The 100,000-square-foot (9290-square-meter) museum will have plenty of room for gallery space, underground parking, a restaurant, a research library, classrooms and movie theaters.

Read more'Game of Thrones' creators to make new 'Star Wars' series

Although he is adamant that the space is not a "Star Wars" museum, the collection will include illustrations, digital art and paintings from the popular science-fiction franchise.

An architectural model of the Lucas Museum of Narrative Art
The museum will be located near the University of Southern California, where Lucas studied filmImage: picture-alliance/AP Photo/D. Dovarganes

"Star Wars" fans will be able to glimpse Luke Skywalker's first lightsaber and Darth Vader's helmet while classic film junkies will be able to view pieces from "Casablanca," "The Ten Commandments" and "The Wizard of Oz," entertainment magazine Variety reported.

Read moreTunisians restore Star Wars film sets to draw tourists

Alongside popular art, film art and comics, Lucas' museum will also display traditional artwork as well — including paintings from Edgar Degas, Pierre-Auguste Renoir and Norman Rockwell.

Lucas and his wife are footing the construction and operating endowment bill for the museum, which is expected to exceed $1 billion.

rs/sms (AP, dpa, Reuters)

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