A parks preservation group in Chicago filed a lawsuit Thursday challenging the city's authority to hand over a site on Lake Michigan to movie mogul George Lucas for his planned Lucas Museum of Narrative Art, Reuters and the Chicago Sun-Times report. Friends of the Parks claims the project would violate the citizens' right to use property "held in trust by the state of Illinois as a natural resource" and that the museum should be built elsewhere in the city.
Mr. Lucas has pledged hundreds of millions of dollars of his own money to construct and endow a museum to house his collection of populist paintings, illustrations, digital art, and artifacts from his Star Wars films. Plans to build the museum on prime lakefront property, now used for parking lots, quickly drew legal threats, and the recently unveiled design for an undulating, 400,000-square-foot structure generated instant controversy. In a statement, lawyers for the city called the suit "legally baseless" and said they would file a motion for dismissal.