Jackson's hometown donates land for museum

Michael Jackson's father and officials in the late singer's Indiana hometown have announced plans for a museum and arts centre in his honour.
Mayor Rudy Clay, right, describes plans for the proposed Michael Jackson museum during a news conference Wednesday in Gary, Ind., as Joe Jackson, the late singer's father, looks on. ((John Smierciak/Associated Press))
Michael Jackson's father joined officials in the late pop singer's Indiana hometown on Wednesday to announce plans for a $300 million US museum and arts centre in his honour.

"This is a happy day for me because this is something that my family and Michael have always wanted," Joe Jackson said. "We're bringing something back [to Gary, Ind.]."

Jackson said he was "just carrying out [his son's] legacy" by getting involved.

"This project will be the magnet that will draw people from all over the world," said Gary Mayor Rudy Clay in announcing that about 120 hectares of city property would be donated for the centre.

He estimated that the project would create thousands of jobs, draw hundreds of thousands of visitors to the financially struggling city and generate more than $100 million US for the community.

Money for the project — which entails a Jackson family museum as well as a performing arts centre and theatre facility named after Michael Jackson — will come from investors and donations, Clay added.

All of Joe and Katherine Jackson's children were born in Gary. The family moved to Los Angeles in the 1970s, spurred by the success of the Jackson Five.

The late King of Pop last visited Gary in 2003 to discuss building a museum and cultural centre. No progress was made before his sudden death in June 2009.

Jackson is buried outside of Los Angeles in Glendale's Forest Lawn Cemetery.

With files from The Associated Press