George Lucas announced he was taking his Lucas Museum of Narrative Art project out of the Windy City due to objections to the project made by a city watchdog group.
Filmmaker Lucas, of Star Wars fame, could take his project back to California. The museum was first proposed for construction in San Francisco, but that city refused to give Lucas a site which overlooked the San Francisco Bay so Lucas brought the project to Chicago where he received support from Mayor Rahm Emanuel.
Friends of the Parks, a green area protection organization, filed a lawsuit to prevent the museum’s construction on valuable lakefront property next to Soldier Field. Mayor Rahm is a vehement supporter of the museum despite coming under criticism for the past several months for that support. Opponents of the museum say Emanuel has been spending too much effort on getting the Lucas Museum built when the city has much more important problems which should be dealt with. The Mayor answered his critics by saying the city is missing a great opportunity:
“This missed opportunity has not only cost us what will be a world-class cultural institution, it has cost thousands of jobs for Chicago workers, millions of dollars in economic investment and countless educational opportunities for Chicago’s youth.”
Lucas also expressed frustration with the city:
“No one benefits from continuing their seemingly unending litigation to protect a parking lot. The actions initiated by Friends of Parks and their recent attempts to extract concessions from the city have effectively overridden approvals received from numerous democratically-elected bodies of government.”