LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- Legendary filmmaker George Lucas was joined by local officials Wednesday morning for the ceremonial groundbreaking at the future site of the $1.5-billion Lucas Museum of Narrative Arts in Exposition Park.
The planned five-story building will house works by painters such as Edgar Degas, Winslow Homer and Pierre-Auguste Renoir; illustrations, comic art and photography by artists such as Norman Rockwell; and storyboards, props and other items from popular films.
At Wednesday's ceremony, Lucas's wife, Mellody Hobson, thanked leaders such as Mayor Eric Garcetti for being "like a dog with a bone" in his determination to bring the museum to Los Angeles.
Garcetti, in turn, declared that Lucas and Hobson, who reside in the Bay Area, are now Angelenos as well.
Lucas, who attended film school at USC, has described his vision for the 300,000-square-foot museum as one that focuses on the art of visual storytelling.
"Narrative art has always been popular because the patron wants everybody to see it," he said, addressing attendees who included fellow director Steven Spielberg. "The patron wants to tell the people what the story is, so they can glue themselves together. So when he says, 'Come on, we're going to go fight a war,' they'll all join in and fight.
"So I think the 'popular' part of it is very important," Lucas said.
The new museum is being built near the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County and the California Science Center. Construction is expected to be complete in 2021.
George Lucas attends groundbreaking for namesake museum in Exposition Park
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