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George Lucas settles on LA as the home for his MAD-designed Museum of Narrative Art

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The Lucas Museum will be a barrier free museum where artificial divisions between 'high' art and 'popular' art are absent, allowing you to explore a wide array of compelling visual storytelling

George Lucas’s long-held dream to build a museum celebrating the art of storytelling may finally come to fruition, with the Hollywood director closing in on an agreement to construct the complex in Los Angeles’ Exposition Park.

The long-running saga – which has seen the project beset by legal battles and location changes – took a surprising twist last month when Lucas unveiled alternative designs for the museum in LA and San Francisco and announced he would choose between the two sites.

Chinese architect Ma Yansong and his studio MAD created the designs, and officials from the two cities were invited to make their case for winning the project, which Lucas has pledged to fund himself.

Yesterday, (10 January), the museum’s board of directors confirmed LA as their site of choice, and pledged to build "one of the most imaginative and inclusive art museums in the world – a global destination that all Angelenos and Californians will be proud to call their own."

Explaining the decision in a statement, the board added: “While each location offers many unique and wonderful attributes, South Los Angeles’ Promise Zone best positions the museum to have the greatest impact on the broader community, fulfilling our goal of inspiring, engaging and educating a broad and diverse visitorship.

"Exposition Park is a magnet for the region and accessible from all parts of the city. As a museum uniquely focused on narrative art, we look forward to becoming part of a dynamic museum community, surrounded by more than 100 elementary and high schools, one of the country's leading universities as well as three other world-class museums."

Ma’s design for LA, which includes several acres of surrounding parkland, is an example of his trademark organic and futuristic form-making, and evokes one of the spacecraft familiar from Lucas’ Star Wars franchise.

The museum’s board will now look to finalise the design and planning details of the project. Lucas wishes to avoid the problems that scuppered his previous ambition to build the museum on Chicago’s waterfront, which was halted after a lawsuit filed by campaign group Friends of the Park caused delays.

When finished, the Lucas Museum of Narrative Art will house the filmmakers collection of 40,000 paintings, comics, illustrations and film-related items, including props and storyboards from Star Wars.

According to Lucas, it will be “a barrier free museum where artificial divisions between ‘high’ art and ‘popular’ art are absent, allowing you to explore a wide array of compelling visual storytelling” that invites visitors uninterested in traditional fine art museums “to engage with and relate to art forms they recognise and love.”

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George Lucas’s long-held dream to build a museum celebrating the art of storytelling may finally come to fruition, with the Hollywood director closing in on an agreement to construct the complex in Los Angeles’ Exposition Park.
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