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The Mayor Strikes Back

Reacting to reports that Chicago was aggressively wooing filmmaker George Lucas to be the site for his new $700-million museum, San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee stepped up his game in early May. Noting that the Presidio Trust has offered a site for the museum, the mayor said, “I strongly agree with the many educators, business leaders, parents, and families who have expressed their concern to me that we must not squander this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for our city and region. To that end … I have directed my staff and relevant city departments to develop a shortlist of additional potential sites, public and private, that we may present to Mr. Lucas … for consideration as opportunities for partnership to build and endow the Lucas Cultural Arts Museum in San Francisco.”

In late May, a task force set up by Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel recommended a site for the museum in that city’s “museum campus” along the downtown lakefront.

Lee made clear that he’s not willing to give up. “George Lucas is a citizen of the San Francisco Bay Area. His movies and his impact on our popular culture have been inspired by this region, his home,” Lee said in a statement. “I wholeheartedly believe that this tremendous investment in the arts and education belong in only one place, and that is here in San Francisco.”

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