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Last Updated: Saturday, 22 October 2005, 13:08 GMT 14:08 UK
Star Wars creator backs King fund
George Lucas
George Lucas wants Luther King's message to be remembered
Star Wars creator George Lucas has donated $1m (565,000) to build a memorial to civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr in Washington.

The landscaped memorial would lie near the Lincoln Memorial, where King gave his "I have a dream" speech in 1963.

"The ideals and principles for which Dr King fought have never been forgotten and are as relevant today as they were 40 years ago," Lucas said.

He also said a memorial would ensure King's message endured for the future.

Other notable supporters of the project include former US Secretary of State Colin Powell and Jack Valenti, former president of the Motion Picture Association of America.

More than $40m (23m) has been raised for the memorial, with $100m (56.5m) needed to finish the project, organisers said.

The US Congress authorised the memorial in 1996, and groundbreaking is scheduled for late next year on a four-acre site among trees on the National Mall, beside Washington's Tidal Basin.

Other causes supported by Lucas include his own educational foundation set up to help bring about a technology-enriched educational system of the future. Premiere screenings for the Star Wars movies have raised $5.6m (3.2m) for charity.


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