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'One century minus a baker's dozen:' Finding the forest for the trees in the translation of literature

‘One century minus a baker’s dozen:’ Finding the forest for the trees in the translation of literature

November 17, 2014

“Fourscore and seven years ago” is a phrase every American knows. Abraham Lincoln began his Gettysburg Address to a war-weary crowd of Pennsylvanians with those five words on a Thursday afternoon in Novembe...

Keep Lucas museum on Lake Michigan

By Opinions Editor

September 2, 2014

A June 24 announcement that George Lucas, creator of the “Star Wars” series, plans to pursue a Museum Campus location for the Lucas Museum of Narrative Art has sparked debate between Lucas enthusiasts and environmentalists.Mayor Rahm Emanuel has voiced his support for the museum, which is expected to generate $2 to $2.2 billion over a 10-year period in tourism revenue. Lucas will fund the museum’s site’s $2 million environmental clean-up and construction process, according to the article on pages 22-23. However, environmentalists are concerned that the possible pollutants underneath the site will be harmful when exposed, and the construction of the museum will violate a 1973 ordinance outlawing private development along the lakefront.It has been suggested by Friends of the Parks, an organization that works to protect Chicago’s parks, that Lucas move his museum to a different site in Chicago, possibly to a South or West Side neighborhood where blighted communities could benefit from the addition. However, because Lucas is funding the museum and any clean up, his wishes should be respected or Chicago could risk losing out on a significant economic booster and a unique cultural institution housing Lucas’ extensive collection of art.Those opposed to the Museum Campus site, such as Friends of the Parks, are not looking at the bigger picture. Friends of the Parks is concerned that the lakefront will be too congested and lack open space, according to a May 20 Friends of the Parks press release. However, the site of the potential museum is currently located on Solider Field and McCormick Place parking lots. While tailgating Bears fans enjoy the lots, they are not there to enjoy the view of Lake Michigan. Lucas also plans on including landscaping and a pedestrian bridge, according to a July 28 museum press release.The unearthing of potentially carcinogenic pollutants remaining from the Great Chicago Fire of 1871–detected by the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency beneath the lots–has also concerned some environmentalists. The toxic residue of the Chicago Fire should not prevent Chicago from accepting a museum, especially because many buildings have been erected in the surrounding area since 1871 without apparent ill effect. Environmental cleanup is a normal part of construction in Chicago—many of the city’s neighborhoods are built atop old industry sites.If the city wants to fully reap the benefits from the museum, it is imperative that the museum be a part of the Museum Campus instead of placing it in another neighborhood. The Chicago City Pass, a popular tourist purchase, allows access to the three Museum Campus institutions—the Shedd Aquarium, Adler Planetarium and the Field Museum—for up to 30 days. Because the museums are located close together, visitors can easily jump from one museum to another. If Lucas’ museum is built too far from the Museum Campus, tourists may pass up on the institution.Big plans often necessitate some sacrifices, and the concerns environmentalists have are not without merit, but Lucas’ promise to assume all of the financial responsibilities for the museum can only benefit a city that desperately needs the money. Chicago cannot afford to lose the museum, but Lucas can afford to lose Chicago.

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