Gary, Indiana, Plans $300M Jackson Museum

Issues with family, competing museum may derail plans
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 3, 2010 4:00 AM CDT
Mayor Rudy Clay, right, describes the location of the proposed Michael Jackson Performing Arts and Cultural Arts Center and Museum during a news conference yesterday.   (AP Photo/John Smierciak)
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(Newser) – The mayor of Gary, Indiana, with Jackson family patriarch Joe Jackson by his side, announced grand plans for a $300 million Graceland-style Michael Jackson Center in his dwindling Rust Belt city yesterday. The estate of Gary's most famous son, however, issued a statement soon afterwards saying it hasn't given its consent to the use of Jackson's name or image and it has plans for a "world-class" museum of its own, reports the Post-Tribune.

Mayor Rudy Clay insisted that the complex—which he says will include housing and a hotel as well as a performing arts center—will be built, despite the failure of earlier Jackson projects. He urged the people of Gary not to "poison the soup" with politics. When asked about the legal issues with the estate, Clay said that Michael Jackson spoke of wanting a performing arts center in the city and complained that positive projects in Gary are always undermined. "It never fails," he said.

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