Published Jun 04, 2010Oh, you just knew there was going to be controversy over this one. When plans were recently announced for the construction of a $300 million Michael Jackson museum in MJ's hometown of Gary, IN, everyone seemed happy. It would create jobs, it would boost the local economy and it would be a nice way to honour the deceased King of Pop. But one snag has surfaced: Jackson's estate is saying it has no connection to the project.
The museum is being spearheaded by Joe Jackson, Michael's father, and Rudy Clay, the mayor of Gary. The town recently approved a 300-acre land transfer for the project. At a press conference on Wednesday (June 2), Clay said that the project was moving ahead with the support of one of the main movers and shakers of Michael's estate: his mother, Katherine, reports the Guardian. But it seems as if that's not the case.
"The estate of Michael Jackson was never consulted about, nor is it involved in, the Jackson family museum being proposed in Gary, Indiana," lawyer Howard Weitzman explained in the Guardian. "Michael Jackson's music, name, likeness, memorabilia and other intellectual property are assets exclusively owned by the estate for the benefit of his children, his mother during her lifetime, and charities as specified in his will. These properties cannot be exploited legally without written authorization from [us]."
And it looks like the Gary museum might not go ahead as planned if the estate has their way, as they have plans of their own for a "world-class museum that includes memorabilia, music and other intellectual properties," says Weitzman, adding that the site has "yet to be determined."