Much of the shooting for the original Star Wars movies took place in Tunisia, and legend has it that one local landmark made a powerful impression on its creator, George Lucas.

The influence of Hotel du Lac in Tunis, shaped like an upside-down pyramid with serrated edges, would later be seen in the fictional Sandcrawler vehicle used by the Jawas of the Tatooine desert planet in the film.The brutalist hotel designed by Italian architect Raffaele Contigiani features 416 rooms across ten floors of increasing width.

The du Lac enjoyed a glamorous heyday after opening its doors in 1973, with singer James Brown reportedly among its A-list clientele.But the good times faded. The hotel closed in 2000 and has stood empty ever since.In 2011, former President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali sold the property to the Libyan government-owned investment fund Lafico. Plans to redevelop the site were subsequently announced but never enacted.The long period of uncertainty may now be drawing to a close.

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